Leeds GP says sorry after misdiagnosing meningitis toddler who died two days later

TRAGEDY: Tyler McDonnell died last November after being taken ill.
TRAGEDY: Tyler McDonnell died last November after being taken ill.
Have your say

A LEEDS GP has apologised after he incorrectly diagnosed a toddler suffering from meningitis with a chest infection.

Two-year-old Tyler McDonnell died in November last year two days after visiting the Bellbrooke Surgery in Harehills.

Dr Adrian Boonin said he was sorry his diagnosis was incorrect but that his decision had not been unreasonable.

Following an investigation, reviewed by NHS England, Bellbrooke Surgery has ensured that all clinicians review their knowledge of septicaemia and is planning to introduce on-site classes for parents to be instructed in spotting illness.

Tyler’s mother Theresa, 41, of Gipton, took her son to the surgery on October 24 after he was “violently shaking”.

He was diagnosed with a viral infection. Dr Boonin later diagnosed him with a chest infection after a second visit.

But Tyler was suffering from a virulent strain of meningoccal septicaemia. He became unconscious at home a few hours later and was rushed to hospital where he died on the Wednesday.

In a letter to Ms McDonnell, Dr Boonin said many illnesses worsen incredibly quickly so a child may appear to have a simple infection and can quickly become a lot more unwell.

Dr Boonin added that even had the diagnosis been correct “we cannot say that the outcome at this point would have been any different”.

NHS England North confirmed that an investigation had been opened by the General Medical Council.

Ms McDonnell, who has seven other children, said: “I’m glad there is to be an investigation because what’s been done so far is not enough.”

Andy Haigh, business manager at Bellbrooke Surgery, said: “This is a tragic event and all our sympathies lie with the family. In circumstances such as these, independent investigation of the care provided is ultimately the only satisfactory response.”