Why did so many others miss Harry’s jaundice?

Mutiny Festival 2017 Picture: Paul Windsor

Keep children safe – but beware the nanny state

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We make no apology for criticising nurses, doctors, hospitals or the entire NHS, when it is justified.

Indeed we do just that here, in this column, regularly.

We, like everybody else, are quick to condemn when something has gone wrong.

And why not? After all, lives are at stake and it is our money which is paying for all of it. But when something goes right, and perhaps a life is saved, we are slow to praise.

We do take our health service for granted and that’s because, for most of the time, it works. It might be a little eccentric in places, but it still does what it says on the tin and is still the envy of the world.

So it is a pleasure today to write in warm praise of the NHS and in particular one of its young professionals.

Step forward 26-year-old Emily Scott who works for the Southern Health NHS Foundation and who might well have saved a baby’s life.

As we report on page 7 today, if it had not been for her awareness, persistence and professionalism, eight-week-old Harry Emery could now be gravely ill.

Emily’s a health visitor and she listened to the concerns of Harry’s parents, Sarah and Daniel.

The baby’s skin and eyes had started to go yellow and Emily referred him for jaundice screening and got him an appointment the same day.

There obviously was something wrong with Harry for he was kept in hospital for two-and-a-half days until it was confirmed he had inflammation of the liver.

He was then sent to a London hospital where he was diagnosed with a condition which can lead to hearing loss, blindness and epilepsy in some babies. He’s now doing well and Sarah and Daniel decided Emily’s swift diagnosis and action deserved putting into the public arena. Quite right too.

But there is one disturbing aspect to this heartwarming story. Sarah and Daniel had previously contacted several health professionals about their concerns for their baby who they knew was unwell. But they were told he was progressing well and had nothing to worry about. Really?

Now that is worrying.