A coroner has criticised “missed opportunities” at an NHS walk-in centre after a 12-year-old girl was sent home TWICE just a day before she died from a severe blood infection.
Tragic Franchesca Pawson was suffering from a winter bug when her condition deteriorated rapidly at the beginning of last year.
Her mother Elsa first took the youngster to an NHS walk-in centre in Derby on Saturday January 10.
But she was told to keep giving the schoolgirl, who dreamed of studying at Cambridge University, ibuprofen and paracetamol.
The worried mum took her daughter back the next day on January 11 last year when her condition failed to improve and was given antibiotics before being sent home.
But the next day Franchesca was rushed to Royal Derby Hospital where she died from an infection which had spread through her bloodstream.
Her dad, Tim Pawson, said:”We’re still trying how best to come to terms with what happened to Franchesca.
“We have started to learn to move on and get better but we still miss her dearly. She played such an important part in our lives.
“She would be looking forward to her bright future now and everything that life had to offer for her.
“We think about her all of the time and we think of all of the memories we have together and those moments we shared.”
An inquest heard the schoolgirl died from sepsis on January 12 after nurses failed to spot the deadly infection was spreading through her body.
Recording a narrative verdict, coroner Louise Pinder said that “opportunities were missed”.
The Deputy Coroner for Derbyshire added that the viral infection was “incorrectly diagnosed” when Franchesca first attended the walk-in centre on the Saturday.
She also gave the cause of death as septic shock due to a lung infection.
Speaking after the case dad Tim, 53, said: “We are just trying to digest everything at the minute and don’t really want to say much more.
“It is still very raw at the moment.”
The inquest, which began on Tuesday (15/3), heard Franchesca, who lived in Littleover, Derby, was seen by nurses both times she went to the NHS walk-in centre.
But giving evidence, two members of staff admitted they had failed to document her condition properly.
Advanced nurse practitioner Sally Hawkins and nurse practitioner Susan Smith said some notes were not documented.
Ms Smith, who was on duty on the Sunday, said she “vividly” remembers Franchesca arriving at the centre, which used to be run by Derbyshire Health United.
She said no triage, which is determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition, was done on the youngster.
But when asked why this hasn’t been done by the coroner, she said: “I don’t know.”
Giving evidence, Royal Derby Hospital medic Dr Richard Bowker said Franchesca’s respiratory rate would have given him “real concerns”.
The consultant paediatrician said: “Francesca arrived at the hospital on Monday, 12 January, at 12.18pm.
“She had a pulse of 148 and a temperature of 37.8C. She was breathing very quickly.”
He told the hearing her heart stopped at 4.20pm and medics tried to improve her condition but she was certified at 8.37pm.
Dr Bowker also said there were signs of septicaemia on the Saturday and Sunday when Franchesca visited the walk-in centre.
When asked by coroner Louise Pinder, deputy coroner for Derbyshire, if Franchesca’s respiratory rate of 22 would give him real concerns, he agreed.
He added: “I think there were signs on Saturday and Sunday of a high heart rate which would have made it a concern.”
In April last year the private company One Medical Group took over the running of the centre which is now known as the Derby Urgent Care Centre.
Dr Aqib Bhatti, who works for Derbyshire Health United, said it had carried out an investigation into the death of Franchesca.
Giving evidence, he said not all observations made by medics were noted and admitted not everybody on the site was aware that there was doctors on other parts who would provide help, support and advice.
Franchesca’s family moved over to Littleover, Derby in the summer of 2013 and Franchesca joined Littleover Community School a few months later.
Her parents, Tim and Elsa, said she loved her time there and had dreams of studying at Cambridge University.