Three-year-old Samuel Starr died in his parents' arms after ‘computer glitch’ at hospital


A three-year-old died in his parents’ arms at a hospital that has been heavily criticised over its paediatric cardiac services after an apparent computer glitch meant he missed vital check-ups, an inquest has heard.

Samuel Starr had heart surgery when he was nine-months old at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and was thought to have been recovering well.

But a new computer system at a second hospital, the Royal United in Bath, failed to generate appointment slots for him and he did not receive follow-up treatment for 20 months.

By the time he was seen, he was judged to need further surgery but suffered complications after that procedure and suffered a stroke and cardiac arrest, the inquest in Flax Bourton, near Bristol, heard.

Ben Peregrine, the speciality manager for paediatrics at the RUH, in Bath, said: “Samuel’s appointment request must have fallen through the cracks between the old and new system.”

Samuel’s inquest, which continues, is the fourth in a series of hearings examining deaths of young heart patients at hospitals in Bristol.