Complaint over baby’s injuries

Debate: MP John Healey with Andrea Duggan, who is unhappy about her son Vinnys hospital treatment.

Debate: MP John Healey with Andrea Duggan, who is unhappy about her son Vinnys hospital treatment.

PARENTS’ concerns about how a complaint was investigated into their baby son’s hospital care have been raised in Parliament.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has called for changes to the NHS complaints process on behalf of Andrea and Andy Duggan, from Goldthorpe.

The couple’s son Vinny, now two, has a rare combination of heart and lung problems and brain damage, thought to be from lack of oxygen, and is unlikely ever to speak.

Andrea and Andy are fighting for answers over the way Vinny was treated in the few days after his birth at Doncaster Royal Infirmary in August 2010.

The couple complained in October 2010 and, while the hospital’s internal investigation concluded there were ‘no real concerns’ about Vinny’s care, in recent weeks acting chief executive Mike Pinkerton has apologised and acknowledged care ‘fell well below the standard’, Mr Healey told MPs.

Mr and Mrs Duggan also complained to the Nursing and Midwifery Council but found they could not appeal against the NMC’s initial findings, which they believe are flawed.

Mr Healey said: “If we are to maintain trust and confidence in our health professionals in the NHS we must have a better system of complaints and regulators with powers to safeguard professional standards.”

The Duggans have complained to the General Medical Council about two doctors and are awaiting a decision on whether a new investigation will take place.

Andrea said: “I think John has done a fantastic job highlighting the problems we have experienced. There need to be changes.”

She revealed the family is considering legal action.

Health Minister Daniel Poulter said: “There needs to be more consistency to make sure patients know complaints will be looked into.”

He said the Government would consider changes, although not until proposals from the Law Commission - covering how complaints against institutions are handled - are brought before Parliament, expected to be in 2014.




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