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Parents of Lymington five-year-old Elspeth Moore say Dr Faye Hawkins' misconduct warning 'not enough' to prevent another tragic death

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THE parents of a Lymington five-year-old who died after being misdiagnosed said a tribunal's warning to the doctor in charge of her care was not enough to prevent such a tragedy happening again.

As reported in the A&T, Elspeth Moore (5) died in July 2018 after consultant Dr Faye Hawkins mistook peritonitis for the less severe gastroenteritis when she was taken to Southampton General Hospital.

A recent tribunal issued Dr Hawkins with a warning after ruling she failed to adequately examine, assess and investigate Elspeth's presenting symptoms following a referral from her GP.

Elspeth Moore died in 2018 after being misdiagnosed
Elspeth Moore died in 2018 after being misdiagnosed

Steven and Frances Moore said in a joint statement to the A&T: "To say our lives have been inextricably damaged from the loss of our daughter would be a gross understatement.

"Our decision to contact the General Medical Council was to help safeguard the future of other patients under Dr Hawkins' care and to help prevent other parents from having to go through the traumatic loss of their child."

They added: "Whilst we respect the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, we do not agree that a warning goes far enough to prevent similar life-changing events from happening again.

"We have never received a formal apology from either Dr Hawkins or Southampton General Hospital for the devastating lack of care that was proven during the tribunal and which resulted in Elspeth's death."

An inquest at Winchester Crown Court in 2019 heard Elspeth had been suffering from peritonitis which consultant paediatric pathologist Dr Darren Fowler described as an “overwhelming infection” after her appendix had burst.

Sepsis developed as her body’s defence system went into overdrive.

The tribunal held this year found there had been a "missed opportunity" to carry out a second examination prior to discharge, which the panel ruled was a "serious failing" below the standard expected.

Dr Hawkins also failed to provide enough safety-netting advice to Elspeth's parents when she was discharged and did not maintain adequate clinical records.

Ruling the risk of Dr Hawkins repeating her actions was low, she avoided a possible suspension or striking-off order, and was instead handed a warning for serious misconduct.

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