Health secretary “escalates” care concerns of Yusuf family

RELATIVES of a five-year-old boy who died after being sent home from hospital have said they are "very happy" after the health secretary agreed to ask the head of NHS England to look at the case.
Yusuf Mahmud NazirYusuf Mahmud Nazir
Yusuf Mahmud Nazir

Yusuf Mahmud Nazir's mother Soniya and uncle Zaheer Ahmed met with the health secretary Victoria Atkins on Tuesday (March 5) to share their concerns over the independent report published last October which had found Yusuf’s care across NHS services in South Yorkshire was appropriate.

Relatives were previously sent a 49-page report – 13 pages longer than the one published – and claimed the abridged version was missing “crucial information”, blasting it a “cover-up”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Last month Yusuf's family met shadow health secretary Wes Streeting for a second time at the Houses of Parliament to criticise the government for failing to get in touch with them about their heart-breaking loss.

Mr Streeting backed the grieving family's call for a second report, branding the original investigation “whitewashed and sanitised”.

At Tuesday's meeting with health secretary Victoria Atkins, Yusuf's mother and uncle were told she would ask the head of the NHS in England Amanda Pritchard to review the report into Thornhill Primary School pupil Yusuf's death.

Mr Ahmed said: “Victoria Atkins was very, very good.

“She gave us lots of time and told us to take as long as needed to go through everything.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We went through the report with her and she listened to everything we had to say and has a good understanding of our concerns and what we are questioning about it.

“It is not within her role (to order a second report) but she is escalating it by discussing it with Amanda Pritchard at a meeting next week so we're very happy with the way the meeting went.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said on Tuesday: “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Yusuf Nazir’s family.

“The secretary of state held a private meeting with Yusuf’s family today to hear their concerns.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Ahmed previously said he “begged” Rotherham Hospital to treat his nephew's severe throat infection in November 2022.

But the family, from Masbrough, were told the hospital had “not got the doctors and not got the beds”.

Two days later, Yusuf was unable to speak, eat or drink and was taken by ambulance to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where he seemed to improve.

His condition later deteriorated and he died on November 23.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Commenting on the relatives' meeting with Ms Atkins, Dr Jo Beahan, medical director at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were all deeply saddened by the tragic circumstances surrounding Yusuf’s death.

“It is something no parent wants to go through, and our sympathies remain with Yusuf’s family. “Given the concerns raised by Yusuf’s family at the time, an independent investigation was commissioned by the South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board.

“The trust fully cooperated with the investigation and accepted the recommendations made within the report, which was published in October 2023.

“The independent investigation found that, sadly, there was nothing that could have been done differently that would have saved Yusuf’s life.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The trust’s Urgent and Emergency Care Centre, as with emergency departments across the country, is a very busy environment, especially during the winter months.

“November 2022 was a particularly busy period for the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre at the trust.

“Yusuf was monitored during the period he waited to see a doctor.

“The CCTV footage of the period in the waiting room was considered by the investigators in the independent report.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Yusuf was then seen by a very experienced doctor on the morning of November 16 and was given an increased dose of antibiotics.

“If an admission had been considered necessary at that point, Yusuf would have been admitted to the children’s ward.”