A story today on the online newspaper the Independent’s website makes the serious allegation that Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) tried to cover up the preventable death of patient Jasmine Hughes and deliberately misled the coroner and the General Medical Council following her death.
These are the most serious of allegations and ones that we categorically refute.
Here is a full statement from our Chief Executive Matthew Shaw.
“Jasmine’s death was tragic and we are very sorry that her death occurred while she was under our care. We understand how devastating her loss has been for her family. We would like to apologise again that Jasmine’s family feel they still do not have the answers they have been looking for, and that this continues to cause them pain.
Jasmine’s case was complicated and over the past nine years we have worked really hard to engage with the family including multiple meetings, the last of which was in 2019. When we met we have always tried very hard to investigate concerns and answer their questions in a comprehensive and open way.
This case also highlights that sometimes there are differences in opinion between clinicians on diagnoses and subsequent treatments, as seen between Dr Coulthard and GOSH consultants. This is especially true for complex cases such as Jasmine’s.
The case has been subject to a number of internal and external reviews including an inquest, a complaints process, a legal claim and a referral to the GMC. We also shared details of the case and how we responded to the family’s concerns with the CQC. In all of the reviews we provided the information requested in good faith.
We are shocked and disappointed at the allegations from Dr Coulthard that there was a “concerted effort” to conceal the truth and we categorically deny that there was any attempt of a cover up as described by him.
Despite asking, we have yet to see any evidence produced by Dr Coulthard or the Independent to support these claims. We have carried out our own review of our records and correspondence relating to Jasmine. While we have found inconsistencies between the information provided at different times, we have found absolutely no evidence that documents were wilfully withheld or removed.
We are very sorry Jasmine’s family remain deeply unhappy despite our best efforts. We take feedback from our families very seriously and we’re committed to being open and transparent when things go wrong and helping families recover from these tragic events. We know we don’t always get this right. As part of our commitment to improving, we now have two Associate Medical Directors – one for safety and one for wellbeing, leadership and improvement. We also have new quality and safety strategies which clearly set out what we need to achieve. We’re also working collaboratively with patient safety organisations to improve how we support families when things go wrong."