Kaleb Ablett, 8, died in December 2019 after the East of England Ambulance Service failed to take him to hospital. 

The Cambridgeshire boy fell ill on Christmas Eve 2019 when he developed cold-like symptoms and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory tract infection. 

He soon began complaining of leg pain and needed help walking to the bathroom.

Two days later, Kaleb's mum, Claire Wesley, called the NHS 111 helpline over concerns that Kaleb had a high temperature, upper chest and back pain, marks on his skin that looked like bruises, and his breathlessness.

An emergency response car was dispatched over concerns that Kaleb may have had sepsis.

He was assessed by an Emergency Medical Technician, but he was not taken to hospital.

The next day, Kaleb began vomiting. Claire called 111 from their family home in March, and Kaleb was taken to hospital.

On December 30, 2019 Kaleb tragically suffered a cardiac arrest and died aged eight.

An inquest held in February 2023 concluded that Kaleb died from deep vein thrombosis, triggered by a Group A Strep infection behind his left knee.

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Since Kaleb's death, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust admitted that Kaleb should have been referred for senior clinical input by an out-of-hours GP who would have recommended Kaleb be taken to hospital. 

Had this happened, he would have been discharged home with oral antibiotics which “on the balance of probabilities would have resolved the Group A Streptococcus infection…and Kaleb would have survived.”

Claire, Kaleb's mum, said: "All of our lives have been torn to pieces by losing Kaleb, and the pain and grief is still as raw today as it was back then.

“I feel like I’ve been robbed of a future with my beloved boy and nothing will ever heal the pain and grief I’m suffering.

Tom Abell, Chief Executive of East of England Ambulance Service, said: “We extend our deepest condolences to Kaleb’s family.

"I am sorry that the care he received was not of the standard we set ourselves and not in line with guidance at the time.

"We have worked hard to ensure lessons are learned from this tragic case.

Actions we have taken include making the process about deciding not to take patients to hospital far more robust, and ensuring appropriate documentation is completed.”

The Trust have introduced a Safe Discharge Policy following Kaleb's death, which provides clinicians with guidance to make a decision around admitting patients to hospital.

They have also introduced iPads to make it easier for staff to access the guidelines.