MP backs family's call for new report into five-year-old's tragic death

THE shadow health secretary has backed a grieving family's call for a second report into the death of a five-year-old boy who died after being sent home from hospital, branding the original investigation “whitewashed and sanitised”.
Yusuf Mahmud NazirYusuf Mahmud Nazir
Yusuf Mahmud Nazir

Relatives of Yusuf Mahmud Nazir met with MP 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 and call for a new independent review, with the Labour MP going on to say the original report had “gaslit” the family.

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

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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.

The Thornhill Primary School pupil’s condition later deteriorated and he died on November 23.

The results of an independent investigation, published last October, found Yusuf’s care across NHS services in South Yorkshire was appropriate, which the family blasted as a “cover-up”.

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Relatives had previously been sent a 49-page report – 13 pages longer than the one published – and claim the abridged version was missing “crucial information” including the testimony of a woman who had called for urgent help after seeing Yusuf's poorly state in the hospital waiting room.

Mr Ahmed met with shadow health secretary Wes Streeting MP last Wednesday.

He previously met the Labour frontbencher last March to raise the family's concerns, after which Mr Streeting wrote to then-health secretary Steve Barclay.

Speaking following the latest meeting, Mr Ahmed told the Advertiser: “We were very, very disappointed not to hear from the previous health secretary.

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“This is the death of a five-year-old child and it feels like we've been completely ignored.

“Wes Streeting spent a lot of time with us and we appreciated it.

“We told him about all of the very, very important information which is missing from the report.

“It has given us reassurance.

“It is a positive – we shouldn't have to live with something that's not (a) true (representation of events).”

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In a statement Wes Streeting said: “What’s happened in this case hasn’t brought anything like the closure this family deserves but has actually ended up gaslighting them because they were witness to these events, they were by Yusuf’s side throughout and they know what they have seen in the report does not match up with their experience.

“No child should be dying of tonsillitis. It is appalling that after 14 years of Conservative government, families are being told there aren’t enough doctors and beds to admit a child who is struggling to breathe.

“The report that has been published varies enormously with the report that the family were shown only days before final publication.

“It has led the family to feel like their voices have been lost, the experience that Yusuf and his family went through has been whitewashed and sanitised so what we now see in public is only a partial account of what really happened.

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“The relatively new health secretary (Victoria Atkins) has an opportunity to come in with a fresh pair of eyes.

“I have written to her to ask that she orders a new independent review.”

Dr Jo Beahan, medical director at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “All of us were incredibly saddened by Yusuf’s tragic death.

“Our thoughts and sympathies continue to be with Yusuf’s family.

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“We fully cooperated with the independent investigation into Yusuf’s death which was published in October, which found the medical care provided to Yusuf in Rotherham’s Urgent and Emergency Care Centre was appropriate, and there was nothing that could have been done differently that would have changed the tragic outcome.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Yusuf’s family and we remain determined to learn from the tragic circumstances in this case.

“Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust made some immediate changes following the independent investigation into Yusuf’s death in October.

“But we know that Yusuf’s family still have some unanswered questions and the health secretary has invited them to a meeting to discuss their concerns.”