STAFFORD Hospital has admitted the care given to baby twins who died after being given a morphine overdose was “not good enough”.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust apologised yesterday after a coroner said there had been failings in the care new-borns Alfie and Harry McQuillin received from the hospital but said there had been no gross neglect.
He concluded the twins, who were born on October 30, had died from complica- tions of being born premature.
Their parents Phillip McQuillan and Ami Dean were not at Cannock Coroner’s Court to hear the verdict.
The tiny tots were born 13 weeks premature at Stafford Hospital. While there they were given more than 10 times too much morphine.
Their condition deteriorated and although they were subsequently transferred to North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary they died on November 1.
Earlier this month Dr Oso, the doctor in charge, said the twins had deteriorated before the morphine was administered.
South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh said: “This did not appear to tie in with the evidence of the other staff.
"It’s more likely this deterioration took place after the morphine infusion rather than prior to it.”
Staff nurse Lisa Lucas told the inquest senior staff nurse Joanne Thompson had insisted they had used the correct procedure.
Mr Haigh said: “I didn’t find the evidence of either nurse convincing.
"Nurse Lucas is seeking to cast more of her burden on Nurse Thompson than is justified.
"I accept that she (Nurse Lucas) had not been the lead for a paediatric morphine infusion before.
“The risk of error at that time was very high.
"There was a misunderstanding between the two main nurses.The main problem in this case was the rate of delivery of the morphine infusions rather than the mixture itself.
“From a legal point of view I believe on balance the morphine is likely to have played a role in the deaths - therefore they are not natural.
"I accept the morphine infusion was the switch for the twins’ decline.”
Maggie Oldham, chief operating officer of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our deepest sympathy remains with their parents and loved ones.
"We are very sorry the care provided was simply not good enough.
"This has been a long and difficult process for the family and our thoughts remain with them.”
The family, from Marston Road, Stafford, were unavailable for comment.