Chesterfield Royal Hospital's board of directors issue public apology to family of Derbyshire teen who died of meningitis

Callum adored Sheffield United and his middle name was inspired by the Blades.
Callum adored Sheffield United and his middle name was inspired by the Blades.

The board of directors at Chesterfield Royal Hospital has publicly said sorry to the family of a teenager who died of meningitis.

Callum Blade Hubbard's loved ones were given the apology last week - after a recent ombudsman's report found the hospital trust made a number of failings in an investigation it carried out after he passed away.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where Callum was treated.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where Callum was treated.

MORE: 'Absolute hell' continues for family of Derbyshire teen who died of meningitis - after new report finds failings in Chesterfield Royal Hospital probe

Callum, of Quarry Road, Apperknowle, died aged 14 in 2014 - nearly three months after undergoing an ear operation at the Royal.

His father, Neil Hubbard, complained to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) about how the trust investigated the care and treatment given to Callum in November 2013 by doctors and surgeons.

Upholding his complaint, the PHSO said: "We find the trust did not follow the relevant standards, including its own policy, when it carried out the investigation into Callum's care.

"We can also see that its responses to the family's complaints were maladministrative.

"This has caused distress to the family."

A spokesperson for the Royal said this week: "At its meeting last Wednesday, our board of directors made a public apology to Mr Hubbard and his family - acknowledging the PHSO conclusions that after Callum’s death in February 2014 we did not investigate his care, or Mr Hubbard’s complaints, to expected standards - or review our findings following the coroner's inquest in 2018, which reached a different decision to the trust.

"We will be sending them a personal letter to reiterate that apology - recognising the impact of the PHSO report and how it has added to their continued distress and grief.

"In 2014 our own inquiry into Callum's death concluded there had been shortfalls in the care we provided to him.

"We acknowledged this and apologised for those failings, making improvements to patient care pathways.

"We are pleased that the PHSO report also recognised changes we've made since Callum died to strengthen both our incident reporting and complaint handling processes - nevertheless we accept its findings and its recommendations, accepting we have more to do to ensure we improve how we involve patients and their families in our investigation processes.

"Since the PHSO report was published we have been talking with Mr Hubbard - and the next step is to introduce the family to the independent expert who will review our actions at the time."

The spokesperson added: "As always, we appreciate that circumstances for Callum's family do not alter as they continue to cope with the loss of their son.

"We hope, however, that they are reassured by our commitment to use the PHSO report as another opportunity to learn from the circumstances of Callum's death and to share that learning widely."

Mr Hubbard said this week: "I can't process what's happened and grieve for my child in the way that I need to in order to be able to live with this loss if I don't understand why he's dead.

"Without a complete explanation, derived from thorough, professional, inquisitorial investigation, I am left consumed by unanswered questions and confused by incomplete, inadequate or incorrect conclusions drawn from, well, nothing.

"I can't start to move forward - I will never move on or get over it but I need to move forward with my life.

"I am left reliving the trauma and trying to work it all out - I am left stuck.

"I am more and more psychologically hurt with every day my search goes on.

"Those around me suffer the consequences of my crusade as I neglect their needs in favour of the search."

MORE: Pictures show work is progressing well to build new Morrisons in Bolsover