Surrey & East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust: Baby dies because of hospital failures

Nailah Ally, was diagnosed with Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) – a serious illness which sees the gut become inflamed and start to die – shortly after her birth in October 2019. She developed feeding issues as well as a swollen stomach and had to be fed via a tube. She was treated for NEC as well as suspected sepsis and successfully underwent cardiac surgery at a specialist heart hospital before being transferred to East Surrey Hospital for further monitoring and to establish her feeding.

The specialist heart hospital sent a handover note to doctors at East Surrey Hospital stating that if Nailah’s swollen stomach persisted she may require a barium enema. This is a test that highlights the large bowel so that it can be clearly seen on X-ray. A barium enema would be performed to consider the possibility that her intestine could have narrowed because of damage caused by NEC.

Shortly after being admitted to East Surrey Hospital in December 2019, Nailah continued to have a swollen stomach and received treatment for suspected sepsis. However, Doctors failed to perform the barium enema. It is reported that a Consultant believed Nailah may have developed an intolerance to cows milk and as such changed her formula.

Nailah was sent home on 7 January 2020. Nailah was then reviewed on 10 January 2020 where concerns were raised about her condition but she was allowed home before blood tests were analysed. Nialah returned to hospital the following day and went into septic shock.

Nailah was diagnosed with septic shock and a suspected perforated bowel. She sadly died on 13 January 2020. A Root Cause Analysis report found several failures, which included a failure to perform a barium enema, which in retrospect may have found the narrowed intestine that Nailah suffered as a result of the NEC.

We support many families who have sadly suffered at the hands of hospital Trust failures, in particular failings to undertake investigations that lead to serious injuries and in some circumstances death. If you have been affected by any of the above, please contact us so that we can begin to support you. 

Clare Gooch

Clare is an experienced clinical negligence solicitor specialising in claims relating to birth injury, maternal birth injury, delay in diagnosis and misdiagnosis. Clare's profile