Search

Tragic Islington baby dies despite repeated visits to under-fire GP service

14:56 27 February 2013

Baby Axel Peanburg King died after being seen several times by out-of-hours GP service, Harmoni. Picture: PA

Baby Axel Peanburg King died after being seen several times by out-of-hours GP service, Harmoni. Picture: PA

Archant

A seven-week old baby died of pneumonia minutes after his mother had been told to wait her turn in a hospital queue.

Axel Peanberg King, from Islington, stopped breathing while waiting for a doctor at the Harmoni centre in the Whittington Hopsital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, where a receptionist allegedly told his mother to wait her turn.

It wasn’t until an off duty nurse spotted the danger that Axel received emergency care, and by then it was too late.

The tragic story unfolded at St Pancras Coroners Court on Monday, when Axel’s mother Linda said: “It was a tense situation, doctors were almost fighting among themselves to get everything done.

“When a doctor came to see me in the relatives’ room, I knew the battle had been lost.”

Mrs Peanberg King initially took Axel to the family doctor who diagnosed a probable viral infection after he fell ill in October last year.

The next evening he hadn’t improved so she contacted Harmoni and was seen by a doctor, who said Axel’s vitals signs were good and his lungs were clear.

She said: “On the Friday, I had allowed myself to be reassured, but my gut feeling was taking over.”

She and her husband Alistair called Harmoni the following day, but when Dr Muttu Shantikumar called them back he was “very abrupt and very short” as he made them an appointment for 4pm.

Mrs Peanberg King said: “I arrived at the Harmoni unit at 3.50pm but had to stand in a queue and was told they were busy. There were six people in front of us, I could not see his chest move, so I pinched his foot but did not get a reaction.

“I asked the receptionist when he would be seen, becoming tearful.

“She explained there were still three people in front of me, so I sat down again.

“An off-duty paediatric nurse was looking at him, she said: ‘you need to go through straight away’.”

Harmoni came under fire last year after the Gazette reported a sick newborn baby was left to wait for more than an hour in a late-night GP surgery on Christmas Eve – even though the doctor had already left.

Then in January Harmoni bosses were hauled in front of Islington Council after Fred Kavalier, a former lead clinician at the company, resigned and wrote to directors about his “urgent concern about the quality and safety of the service”.

Dr Kavalier’s claims were stongly refuted by Harmoni.

The inquest was adjourned until this morning.

Latest Islington News Stories

09:30

Islington’s housing boss today called for the power to ban Airbnb users from renting out single rooms for more than 90 days.

Yesterday, 17:41

Blackstock Road in Finsbury Park was closed at the height of the evening rush hour while police investigated a suspicious item left on a 106 bus.

Yesterday, 15:48

A member of Islington’s notorious Adams crime family has been jailed for nine years for shooting a man in the chest at point-blank range.

Yesterday, 15:06

Transport bosses are driving through with changes to the Archway bus network – ignoring 75 per cent of the people whose opinion they asked.

Yesterday, 12:39

A London Metropolitan University lecturer has set up Christmas gift exchange – for Welsh Terriers.

Yesterday, 10:48

The search for a missing teenage girl from Islington has entered its third day.

Thu, 18:02

Controversial plans to build a visitor’s centre at the foot of the Caledonian Park clock tower have won £2million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Thu, 16:29

A supper club bringing the taste of Zanzibar to Archway has raised more than £1,000 for a hunger charity.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If your favourite pair of shoes are on their way out, you might be thinking of throwing them away.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now