NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has agreed to meet the parents of Warminster boy Sean Turner, who died following “shambolic” care on Ward 32 at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
Sean died in March 2012 from a brain haemorrhage after previously suffering a cardiac arrest – six weeks after he underwent vital corrective heart surgery at the hospital.
His parents Steve and Yolanda Turner are calling for a public inquiry after hearing how staff repeatedly failed to pick up signs of his worsening condition while he was on Ward 32 during an eight-day inquest last month.
Mr and Mrs Turner claim their son’s death was not isolated and other children with heart problems have died at the hospital, including Luke Jenkins, aged seven, from Cardiff.
However, following an appeal on Twitter yesterday, Sir Bruce has offered the Turners and other families let down by the hospital an opportunity to meet with him.
Mr Turner, 47, wrote directly to Britain’s most senior doctor by sending a message to his @DrBruceKeogh Twitter account: “Will someone please pick up the reins and sort this out?”
The cardiac surgeon responded within an hour of receiving the message on the social networking site, by answering: “Steve, I will meet all concerned parents. Will contact you on Monday to fix a date convenient to families. This week?”
Mrs Turner said that Sir Bruce’s office has been in contact with them today to arrange a meeting with him, but the date has not been decided yet.
She added: “It feels like people are starting to take notice and to listen, but we have felt like we were getting somewhere before and have been let down, so we are reserved.
“We are hopeful that this time we will get somewhere as we think Sir Bruce should be taking action. It was quite a shock that he replied as we have Tweeted him before and heard nothing back.
“Sir Bruce needs to listen and he needs to hold Bristol Children’s Hospital to account. Something needs to be done about the hospital and we want to hear him take responsibility for the failings.”