Lessons must be learned from this terrible tragedy

First published in Our view by

Accidents do happen and errors of judgement are often made, both people’s personal and working lives.

In some jobs, of course, this can lead to a life or death situation – and that is why checks, and double checks are in place. But even they fail.

Tragically, in the case of Jacob Long, 15, a number of ‘missed opportunities’ and failures took place before he died.

Jacob, from Rawdon, was, according to a coroner ‘inappropriately discharged’ from Leeds General Infirmary without competent medical assessment.

He died four days after being sent home with painkillers.

He had been sent to the LGI after staff at Wharfedale Hospital realised how serious his condition was and called an emergency ambulance.

Even the treating doctor at Wharfedale telephoned ahead to express his concerns about Jacob’s condition.

The full details of just what happened have now been revealed and everyone’s hearts go out to Jacob’s family who have made their views known.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, for its part, has issued a statement offering sincere condolences and says it fully accepts the coroner’s verdict.

It goes on to say, in pure simpering PR speak, that actions have been put in place to address the failures which did occur. In fawning language the Trust continues to say it wants Jacob’s family to know it has taken the incident extremely seriously and is determined to do everything possible to prevent mistakes like this happening again. We should hope so!

As the law expert involved in the case says, the situation should never have arisen in the first place.

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