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‘Can’t pull a bed out of the air’: Family claims boy, 5, died after Rotherham hospital turned him away

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A five-year-old boy who died of new pneumonia on Monday could have been saved if a South Yorkshire hospital positively responded to the pleas for his treatment, his family said.

Yusuf Mahmud Nazir, who went back home after Rotherham General Hospital said it had no doctors or beds to treat him, died as his throat infection spread to his lungs causing multiple organ failure.

He complained of a sore throat on November 13 and his parents took him the next day to a GP who prescribed him antibiotics.

As the condition worsened, Nazir was taken to Rotherham Hospital where the family waited all night for examination and treatment, his uncle Zaheer Ahmed said.

According to him, the boy was sent home despite a doctor who saw him telling the family that it was the “worst case tonsillitis” he had ever seen.

Ahmed said he “begged” for the boy to be admitted to the hospital but its staff expressed their inability citing queues at the children’s ward.

He said he called the staff and “begged them for their help” as the boy was “struggling” to breathe.

“They just said ‘We’ve not got the doctors, we’ve not got the beds. I can’t just pull a bed out of the air’”, he said of the hospital staff’s response.

According to him, the staff said, “We’ve got queues of kids waiting, it’s not just your child’. Ahmed said when he told the staff about the need for urgent treatment, the response was “So do other children”.

Ahmed told Sky News, “He stopped breathing, he stopped talking, when he was choking, he couldn’t breathe. He was struggling. And it led to his life being taken at five years old. If they would have treated him where we wanted him to be treated he would be here with us now.

Nazir’s parents called an ambulance to take him to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, but it was too late.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust has initiated an investigation into the incident. It, however, said the general hospital did not provide paediatric intensive care beds.

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