Bow School nurse admits mistakes were made at inquest into 14-year-old pupil’s death

Bow school entrance in Twelvetrees Crescent, Bromley-by-Bow [Google Images]

Bow school entrance in Twelvetrees Crescent, Bromley-by-Bow [Google Images] - Credit: Google

A nurse has admitted mistakes were made after a teenage boy’s care plan was downgraded just months before he died after falling ill in detention.

Nasar Ahmed, who suffered with severe allergies and asthma, was in an exclusion room at Bow School when he collapsed on November 10 last year.

He was rushed to hospital but died four days later.

An inquest into the 14-year-old’s death heard how school nurse Goddard Edwards had assessed his allergy plan as mild to moderate rather than severe, despite Nasar being allergic to a variety of food and needing access to an epipen.

Poplar Coroner’s Court was told how in a meeting with Nasar and his mum on May 3 last year, Mr Edwards used an incorrect form when assessing his allergies, downgrading his case.

He also failed to follow up on incomplete records of Nasar’s medication that needed to be kept at the school, the inquest heard.

Use of an epipen was not mentioned, and Mr Edwards conceded he made a mistake.

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He said: “The epipen doesn’t figure on this particular plan. I accept that this was an oversight on my part.”

Mr Edwards also said the error with the care plan was a “complete oversight on my part”, and admitted failing to follow up and review Nasar’s medication needs after asking a receptionist to tell his mother she needed to bring up a new epipen and inhaler for him.

But when asked how he would characterise his care for Nasar, he said: “I fulfilled my duties. I am happy with the care I gave Nasar.”

Coroner Mary Hassell said she was “surprised to hear that” following the catalogue of errors, to which he answered: “There are some omissions with the care plan, so to go back to your question, no, there are some problems with this.”

The inquest also heard how teacher Arlette Matumona, responsible for pupils’ medical needs, was unable to say whether staff supervising the detention had checked Nasar’s medical needs on the school’s information system.

She explained that staff were told to check pupils’ medical records at the start of the school year, but that support staff, who would not have come into daily contact with Nasar, had been in charge of the detention.

She said: “Perhaps they wouldn’t necessarily think to check in the school system.

Ms Matumona added: “Some staff will and some staff won’t check SIMS (the school’s information system) as a matter of course.”

Pressed by the family’s lawyer, Sam Jacobs, on whether they should, she replied: “I am not sure. If you are a support member of staff who does not teach that child...

“Most of our staff would not have thought that Nasar would have to be discussed so publicly.”

Asked if it was realistic for staff to remember a child’s medical needs after checking at the start of the year, Ms Matumona said: “Perhaps we could have it so that it’s displayed somewhere or have a list for those children in exclusion.”

The inquest continues.