Family of Freya Wells shocked by 'flagrant and extreme failings' in the run-up to her death at Kingston Hospital

Surrey Comet: Freya Wells: A "happy, playful little girl" Freya Wells: A "happy, playful little girl"

The family of four-year-old Freya Wells, who died of septic shock at Kingston Hospital after “flagrant and extreme” failings, have paid tribute to a “happy, playful little girl”.

The inquest into Freya’s death was concluded this morning, with coroner Dr Sean Cummings at a loss for words to address her mother, Carly, after the distressing three day proceedings.

Dr Cummings said in summing up that Dr Rosita Ibrahim, the registrar in charge of Freya’s care, “was out of her depth” the night the little girl was admitted to hospital, and that the severity of Freya’s illness "was obvious to every other clinician at the time".

The inquest heard from a fellow doctor last Friday that Dr Ibrahim’s examination of Freya was “perfunctory”.

Surrey Comet:

Lindsay Wells, left, reads a statement on behalf of Freya's mum Carly, centre right. Photo: Jon Sharman

Freya’s aunt Lindsay Wells read a statement outside West London Coroner’s Court this morning, on behalf of her sister.

She said: “I am relieved and pleased that the coroner’s inquiry has determined what really happened on November 21 and 22, 2012 leading to the tragic death of my beautiful little daughter Freya.

“She was a happy, playful little girl who had a beautiful smile bringing happiness to us and everyone in her life.

“She leaves a loving extended family whose lives have been shattered as a result of her tragic death and we can now only take comfort from happy memories of her short life.

“We wish to make it clear that we have always respected the medical profession and continue to do so.

“We know their work is difficult at times and mistakes can be made.

“However, we believe the Coroner’s Inquiry has shown Freya was a very sick child who needed basic but nonetheless urgent specialist medical attention which sadly she never received.

“It is now clear that one doctor in particular grossly failed Freya, us and her own colleagues on the night in question which has changed our lives forever.

“We were shocked to hear her say during her evidence that she accepted the panel’s findings that she had failed to recognise respiratory distress in the accident and emergency department and failed to recognise the severity of Freya’s condition including signs of septic shock until she spoke to the on-call consultant.

“Sadly, she now states that had she appreciated the severity of Freya’s condition she would have given IV antibiotics and a fluid bolus which we now know was extremely likely to have saved my beautiful little daughter’s life.

“We hope that she fully understands the pain and sorrow that has been caused due to her direct actions.

“We are also pleased that the coroner will be recommending suspension of the Dr Ibrahim’s licence pending a formal investigation.

“We also hope that at least systems will now be improved in the future as a result of Freya’s untimely death which will hopefully result in better treatment for other children who attend for emergency care under the control of Kingston Hospital”.

Solicitor Rankeshwar Batta, acting for the Wells family, said: “This case was all about inadequate communication, the failure to recognise an obvious and escalating high risk condition and most importantly, taking personal responsibility to ensure appropriate treatment and a specialist referral was in place for a very sick child.

“We have heard evidence throughout the Inquest that a child with symptoms like Freya who goes into hospital should survive unless there are exceptional circumstances and that the diagnosis of septic shock should have been made at a much earlier stage.

“We will now consider next steps with Freya’s mother in respect of any formal action she may wish to take against the Kingston Hospital.”

Comments (3)

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10:52am Tue 21 Jan 14

CanConnie says...

I have had "personal" experience of the cavalier attitude by some of the medical profession at Kingston Hospital (from 2010) so my heart goes out to the parents of that lovely little girl.
While there I witnessed some appalling hospital moments.
Responsible care and compassion has been left out of the equation.
Machines (MRI, CT,) cannot make people intelligent if the brain has not been developed through systematic education, in the first place, and that is where the problems now are.
Years ago the Comprehension tests would show those faults early on so that only the very naturally gifted would pass through into higher education.
I have had "personal" experience of the cavalier attitude by some of the medical profession at Kingston Hospital (from 2010) so my heart goes out to the parents of that lovely little girl. While there I witnessed some appalling hospital moments. Responsible care and compassion has been left out of the equation. Machines (MRI, CT,) cannot make people intelligent if the brain has not been developed through systematic education, in the first place, and that is where the problems now are. Years ago the Comprehension tests would show those faults early on so that only the very naturally gifted would pass through into higher education. CanConnie
  • Score: 3

1:02pm Tue 21 Jan 14

spragger says...

Anyone know where Dr Rosita Ibrahim went to Medical School?
It would be interesting to know where her basic training was carried out
Anyone know where Dr Rosita Ibrahim went to Medical School? It would be interesting to know where her basic training was carried out spragger
  • Score: 3

1:55am Fri 24 Jan 14

taran007 says...

I do believe " OUT OF DEPTH" was a typically British-esque & polite way to say that what she did was stupid, uncalled for and might i say, murderous. recognising septic shock is essentially the bread and butter of emergency medicine, and oral antibiotics are hardly what i would call a mainstay of treatment, especially when bugs nowadays are getting more and more resistant. If a child comes in ( to the A&E) not being able to tolerate orally , and or is vomiting, then , no one in the right mind would ever administer oral antibiotics. I am a doctor from Malaysia, practicing for four years now as a senior medical officer . This is truly appalling. My heart goes out for Freya Wells family. Any idea if Dr Rosita Ibrahim is a Malaysian and which med school did she go to ?? Because she definitely looks Malay but there has been no official statement. This could be due to the fact that she has resided in the UK for so long that she has already become a UK citizen. RIP Freya Wells
I do believe " OUT OF DEPTH" was a typically British-esque & polite way to say that what she did was stupid, uncalled for and might i say, murderous. recognising septic shock is essentially the bread and butter of emergency medicine, and oral antibiotics are hardly what i would call a mainstay of treatment, especially when bugs nowadays are getting more and more resistant. If a child comes in ( to the A&E) not being able to tolerate orally , and or is vomiting, then , no one in the right mind would ever administer oral antibiotics. I am a doctor from Malaysia, practicing for four years now as a senior medical officer . This is truly appalling. My heart goes out for Freya Wells family. Any idea if Dr Rosita Ibrahim is a Malaysian and which med school did she go to ?? Because she definitely looks Malay but there has been no official statement. This could be due to the fact that she has resided in the UK for so long that she has already become a UK citizen. RIP Freya Wells taran007
  • Score: 2

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