Details have been revealed today of a case where missed opportunities by GPs and NHS 111 may have failed to prevent the death of a baby from sepsis.
Amongst the missed opportunities identified by NHS England's report, it is suggested that if the person who had taken the mother's call to 111 had been medically trained it is more likely that they would have realised that he was seriously ill and needed to be seen urgently, rather than reassuring her that it was not serious.
NHS 111 call handlers do not have medical training and follow set pathways of questions, but it has been questioned whether they are sensitive enough to pick up serious illnesses in children.
It is to be hoped that lessons will be learned from the report's recommendations so that similar cases can be avoided in future. Sepsis is the second biggest cause of death in England, so it is important that GPs and other medical advisors are aware of the symptoms to look for.
The report details the opportunities missed to save William's life. It found: William's GP had not recorded all of the relevant information in his notes William's symptoms had not been recognised as something more serious The advice about what his parents should do over the weekend if William's condition worsened had been inadequate The out-of-hours GP service had not had access to William's primary care records The pathway tool used by NHS 111 advisers had been too crude to pick up "red-flag" warnings relating to sepsis "Had any of these different courses of action been taken, William would probably have survived," the report said.