Advising with empathy and experience

Surgery delay led to child's death.

A young child died after waiting three days for life-saving surgery in an incident that has led to calls for a major rethink on NHS funding.

Managers at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) have admitted errors which led to the death of Kayden Urmston-Bancroft after an urgent operation to repair a hernia, or hole in his diaphragm, was delayed in April 2016.

But a surgeon at the hospital has said that the 20-month-old’s death was an ‘accident waiting to happen.’ He added that he and his colleagues had warned RMCH chiefs that the site was under-resourced and that the child’s death was a result of this.

Kayden Urmston-Bancroft, Stockport, had been born with a diaphragmatic hernia that was discovered only when he was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital after falling and banging his face.

An x-ray showed that part of his bowel had burst through the hole in his diaphragm and he was transferred to RMCH for urgent surgery

But three days later, Kayden was still waiting for his operation and went into cardiac arrest, thought to have been caused by the organs squashed in his chest putting too much pressure on his heart. He was rushed to an operating theatre, but never regained consciousness and died shortly afterwards.

His grandmother, Julie Rowlands, said she and Kayden’s mother, Shannon Bancroft, were repeatedly told that other emergencies were coming in and taking his place.

She said: “We begged them to transfer him to somewhere that could do the operation, but they told us it wasn’t as easy as that. I said if they didn’t then something would happen.

“After his cardiac arrest the doctors tried to bring him round, but he was without oxygen for almost half an hour. They took him to theatre, but I knew it was too late. It was four-and-a-half hours before they brought him back and they apologised and said, as a hospital, they had failed him.”

Julie  Rowlands and Kayden’s parents, Shannon and Mark, decided to switch off the boy’s life support on April 17, 2016.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), which runs RMCH, has admitted there was an unacceptable delay in performing surgery to repair Kayden’s hernia that resulted in his death.

The Trust, which has settled a legal case brought by the family for an undisclosed, five-figure sum, added that an investigation into the incident had been carried out and actions were already being implemented to ensure any failings were not repeated.