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    • Leon Singh died of septic shock in Daren Valley Hospital, Dartford, last year
    • An inquest this week found the NHS could have done more to prevent his death
    • Doctors failed to diagnose his illness and said their care was below standard

    The death of a six-year-old boy in hospital has prompted NHS bosses to conduct a full review of its child care. 

    Leon Singh died of septic shock last May in Daren Valley Hospital, Dartford, last May.

    An inquest has found more could have been done to prevent his death after he was admitted with a series of symptoms including a high temperature and a rash on his body.

    Leon Singh, six, died of septic shock last May in Daren Valley Hospital, Dartford, last May

    Following the four-day inquest that concluded on Friday, the coroner ruled there were ‘missed opportunities’ to diagnose the septic shock and for effective clinical management and treatment.

    Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust admitted its care fell below standard, saying a complete sepsis chart was not carried out, which could have helped potential symptoms.

    Poor communication between clinicians also contributed to the failings, Maidstone County Hall heard. 

    Leon suffered from a rare condition known as Kawasaki disease six months prior to his death, with symptoms including a rash, swollen glands in the neck, cracked lips and red eyes.

    An inquest has found more could have been done to prevent his death after he was admitted with a series of symptoms including a high temperature and a rash on his body

    An inquest has found more could have been done to prevent his death after he was admitted with a series of symptoms including a high temperature and a rash on his body

    When a rash and persistent high temperature returned in April last year, Leon was taken to his GP, who made an initial diagnosis of tonsillitis and prescribed a course of antibiotics, the inquest heard.

    His condition did not improve and his mother pushed for a referral to Darent Valley Hospital.

    She said in a statement at the inquest: ‘Leon seemed perfectly fine, playing with superhero toys and was doing push ups on the bed saying he wanted an ice lolly.

    ‘We were told he was improving and then in a couple of hours he was gone. We don’t understand how this could have happened.’

    The coroner’s findings prompted Leon’s family to plead for reassurances from the hospital that lessons were learned to prevent further tragedies.

    After the hearing, Leon’s mother Samantha added: ‘Nothing will ever replace what we lost when Leon died.

    ‘He was the glue that brought our family together, and to hear throughout the inquest that there were missed opportunities to recognise and treat his sepsis is beyond heart-breaking.

    ‘It is unimaginable that this pain will ever go away.’

    Leon suffered from a rare condition known as Kawasaki disease six months prior to his death

    Leon suffered from a rare condition known as Kawasaki disease six months prior to his death

    Following the inquest, medical law expert Rebecca Brunton from Simpson Millar firm, spoke on behalf of Leon’s family.

    She said: ‘The family have been devastated by the loss of Leon.

    ‘While they thank the coroner for his time, the inquest has understandably been a very difficult time for them, especially with so much evidence to suggest that there were missed opportunities to diagnose him and provide swift, effective treatment.

    ‘They are now desperate for reassurances that lessons learnt have been acted upon by the Trust, to ensure no one suffers as they have in the future.’

    Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust apologised to Leon’s family and that his ‘care fell below the standard’.

    A spokesman said: ‘We offer our sincere condolences and sympathies to the family for the tragic loss of their son Leon and the suffering that this has caused.

    ‘We have shared all of our findings with the family and have apologised to them that Leon’s care fell below the standard that they were entitled to expect.

    ‘We have now put a full range of actions in place. We have embarked upon a full review of paediatric care at Darent Valley Hospital, commissioned an invited College review and established a Children’s Board.

    ‘We have already started sharing the findings of the review and the resulting actions with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).’

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