Calls for new emergency wing to honour Lilli Sweet
THE mother of a young girl who died as a direct result of systemic failure in the care she received when admitted to Nambour Hospital has described as “brilliant” calls to have the emergency department at the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital named in her memory.
Joanne Sweet, whose six-year-old daughter Lilli died in Royal Brisbane Hospital two days after being admitted to Nambour in 2013, said the family was still coming to terms with her loss.
Investigations determined, which were confirmed by Coroner John Lock’s report handed down on May 6 this year, that a series of systemic failures led to an unnecessary death.
A range of measures have subsequently been put in place to guard against a recurrence of the chain of events that preceded her passing, something also acknowledged in Coroner Lock’s report.
Lawyer Peter Boyce, who represented Ms Sweet at the coronial inquiry, said naming the new hospital’s emergency wing in honour of the young girl would serve as a constant reminder to staff of the responsibility they bear for children in their care.
“There needs to be a permanent legacy,’’ he said.
“There is no doubt she would still be here. Calling the emergency department the Lilli Sweet would be a constant reminder.
“The first point of call is always the emergency department. It would put the focus on the relevance of Lilli’s death. She should be here.’’
Ms Sweet said Lilli’s death had brought forward by a number of years the introduction of a national immunisation register through Spleen Australia, something she would also like to see publicly acknowledged.
“Hindsight is great,’’ she said of changes made after her daughter’s death.
“But we need to become pro-active before children die. What else can we fix so families aren’t left like this?”
Ms Sweet said to call the new hospital’s emergency department the Lilli Sweet would be a reminder of the duty of care staff had for patients.
She said it would also serve as a reminder to parents to push harder to ensure their children received simple things like the blood tests that would have alerted staff to the fact Lilli was dying of meningitis and to make sure referral letters from GPs were properly read and understood.
Ms Sweet said she and Lilli’s twin brother were still struggling with the loss.
She said as they live close to the new hospital a legacy for Lilli may assist them through their grief.
The Queensland Health Minister Cameron Dick has been approached for comment.