NHS trust apology over Boston Pilgrim teen death

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.
Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

The NHS trust which runs the hospital where a teen died after rupturing her stomach while on holiday in Butlin’s, has apologised.

Jessica Ashton-Pyatt, 14, from Staffordshire, died at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital in October last year after developing the life-threatening condition while in Ingoldmells.

And although an inquest yesterday (Friday) stressed the A&E department in Boston could not have saved her, it did hear scathing evidence of “chaotic” scenes and of “overwhelmed and terrified” doctors.

In a statement to the BBC this morning (Saturday), United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust admitted that Jessica’s treatment “failed” to meet its normal standards and it added that it took such matters “extremely seriously”.

They said: “We express our sincere condolences to the family of Jessica Ashton-Pyatt and apologise for any distress caused during her treatment.

“The inquest concluded that Jessica died from natural causes and whilst we recognise that the patient’s condition was very unusual, we also recognise that there were aspects of care which did not meet the high standards that we normally deliver.

“We take these matters extremely seriously and have carried out an internal investigation to enable us to take steps to improve the care provided.”

The apology comes after yesterday’s inquest heard from one of Jessica’s parademics, who attended to her in Ingoldmells and ferried her to Boston.

After arriving in Boston she described chaotic scenes in the A&E.

She described how, after giving details to anaesthetist Dr Matt Woods, who attempted to take charge, she noticed other doctors move to the edge of the room and talk among themselves.

She told how as Dr Woods called out instructions, people did not move and how he then had to ask another paramedic attending, Mark Hall, to help them because she felt ‘they had not responded to earlier requests’.

She said one doctor attempted to canulate Jessica’s foot despite being told not to and to use a bone gun.

She said: “Dr Woods said no, but still the doctor continued to attempt canulation despite Dr Woods telling him twice not to.”

She later added of the other doctors: “They all appeared terrified.”

She told how Dr Woods had attempted to charge the defibrillator but found it unplugged, and also described having to show a doctor how to use a bone gun.

She was also concerned that the bone gun was pointed at her while he attempted to remove a safety pin when told he needed to take it out.

Mr Hall described the ward at the time as ‘chaos’ and told how following intubation of Jessica, he saw two doctors attempting to canulate (find a place for a needle to be inserted), at various points across the body while being told to use the bone gun - before one of them did ‘in a dangerous manner’.

Coroner Robert Forrest recorded the death as being as a ruptured stomach which was unexplained. He said the death was a result of natural causes.

He added he would be writing to United Lincolnshire Hospitals trust’s chief executive regarding the evidence about Pilgrim Hospital.

Jessica Ashton-Pyatt, was from Newcastle Under Lyme. Her mother has been fundraising in her name since she and her school has given her a posthumous award.

Her mother is reported to be considering possible legal action over the Trust’s handling of Jessica’s treatment.