A two-year-old boy died after his desperate family rushed him to hospital – only to discover that its A & E department had recently been closed down.
Mum Maryam Naveed, 27, took her son Hashir to hospital after he woke up in the night with a high temperature. His father Muhammad was working so the boy's uncle drove them, which they thought would be quicker than waiting for an ambulance.
But as they arrived at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield, North London, at 3am last Wednesday, they found the doors locked.
After frantically banging on the doors and then finding an emergency phone outside the unit, Maryam managed to contact a nurse, who rang for an ambulance and immediately tried to resuscitate the boy.
But after being taken five miles to the North Middlesex Hospital at Edmonton – the nearest Casualty department – Hashir was pronounced dead.
Friends said the half-hour delay caused by first going to Chase Farm may have cost the boy his life.
The tragedy also highlights concerns about the dangers of closing A&E units and replacing them with so-called Urgent Care Centres.
A full investigation has now been launched into the death by the NHS trust that runs Chase Farm, which lost its A&E last month.
Friend Waleed Mirza told the Daily Mail: "If doctors had been able to treat him at Chase Farm it might have made all the difference."
A spokesman for Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust said: "We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family on the loss of their son.
"The new Urgent Care Centre at Chase Farm Hospital is open from 9am to 9pm seven days a week. There is an emergency phone at the entrance for patients who arrive outside these hours.
"The trust can confirm that an ambulance was called immediately by trust staff. The child was attended to onsite where resuscitation was initiated.
"The child was placed in the care of the London Ambulance Service who continued to resuscitate him during the transfer to North Middlesex University Hospital."
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