More than seven years ago, a 39-year-old father suffering from severe breathing difficulties sought medical treatment at a hospital in Harrogate. It was discovered that the breathing difficulties were due to epiglottitis, a rare throat disorder.
With fewer hospital beds and lower budgets, a disturbing medical trend has emerged in the NHS: sending patients home from hospital before it is safe to do so. In fact, Dame Julie Mellor, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said her organization is "increasingly concerned about patients being discharged unsafely from hospital." She added that keeping costs low appeared to have been a motivation to discharge some patients early.
At the inquest into the little girl's death, the assistant coroner for Warwickshire said that doctors "missed opportunities to diagnose and treat" the child but that "it has not been possible to conclude the causative impact of each missed opportunity."