Published: 00:01, 17 October 2016
A grieving father has claimed his dying daughter was denied a potentially life-saving test because it was too expensive.
Summer Palmer lost her fight for life at Medway Maritime Hospital after developing a blood infection.
Parents Simon Palmer and Lisa Standen, from Snodland, claim a consultant told them monitoring tests were not done because they were costly.
Health chiefs at the Gillingham hospital refused to comment on the allegations, saying a full review was being carried out.
Mr Palmer, who has taken advice, said: “We’ve been told the tests were too expensive. They’re putting a price on a life, and that’s not right.”
Summer had been born premature at 25 weeks and six days at King’s College Hospital in London.
Mr Palmer said because Summer was premature they expected some health problems but nine days after she was born, weighing just under 2lb, she was well enough to be transferred to Medway to be closer to home.
"They're putting a price on a life, and that’s not right" - Simon Palmer
Miss Standen noticed bruising on Summer’s feet at King’s, but she was told it was because she was premature and her feet had been rubbing on the bed. Tests at Medway revealed she had neonatal sepsis.
The parents, who held their baby for only a few precious moments, said they were told such infections were generally monitored on a 48-hour basis.
They said tests, which check how fast the infection spreads, were not done and Summer died on September 25, at 19 days old.
The family have still not been able to hold a funeral for their daughter due to a mix-up, which meant her body was not released until Wednesday.
Mr Palmer, 36, said: “On September 26, the consultant agreed to a post-mortem being done at Great Ormond Street Hospital that evening or the following day.
“But then we found that she had been lying in the mortuary at Medway for 10 days.”
The post-mortem examination results will not be available for another six weeks.
Karen McIntyre, deputy director of nursing (women and children’s directorate) at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are extremely concerned to hear of the issues that have been raised. We understand this is an extremely difficult and distressing time for Simon and Lisa.
“We will be conducting an urgent review to look at and carefully examine the circumstances surrounding this case.
“We have already met with Simon and Lisa to discuss their initial concerns and will be aiming to meet with them again, upon completion of our review.
“In the meantime, we would like to pass on our sincere condolences.”
The family have set up a memorial page to Summer on Facebook.