'Full and frank investigation' after meningitis claims life of Derbyshire girl

Gracie Foster.
Gracie Foster.

A coroner has promised a 'full and frank investigation' after meningitis claimed the life of a little girl.

Four-year-old Gracie Foster, of Dronfield, died of the infection last October.

During a hearing at Chesterfield coroners' court on Tuesday, Gracie's family heard that her inquest will take place within the next seven months.

Coroner James Newman said: "There will be a full and frank investigation into Gracie's death.

"The inquest will explore a number of issues and hear from several witnesses.

"We'll have to look at Gracie's admittance to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

"I understand there was a diagnosis of tonsillitis before she was discharged. Should she have been discharged? That is one question we'll be exploring."

Mr Newman said that Gracie, a pupil at Lenthall Infant and Nursery in Dronfield, was later admitted to Sheffield Children's Hospital where she sadly passed away.

The court heard her inquest will be held over three days, possibly at the end of the year or during the first two months of 2017.

Mr Newman added: "I'm aware the family has waited long enough.

"They need answers."

After her death, Gracie's father Daniel said: "She was amazing.

"She was a lively, kind girl.

"She thought she was a teenager already and she was quite bossy.

"She was obsessed with Frozen and she loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Raphael was her favourite.

"She was crackers."

Chef Daniel said the tragedy has spurred him on to raise awareness and funds for good causes.

He also wants to urge parents to look out for the other symptoms of meningitis – as Gracie's rash did not appear until it was too late.

"It is devastating," he added.

"It was just so quick.

"I want to stop other parents going through what we went through."

• For more information about the symptoms of meningitis, visit www.meningitisnow.org or call 0808 80 10 388.