Jorgie's Journal launched as Corby family says they are glad something positive has come from their girl's death

The parents of Jorgie Stanton-Watts have launched the journal for the parents of children on Skylark Ward

By Kate Cronin
Saturday, 18th December 2021, 6:49 am
Zena Stanton, Nicola Stanton and Stephen Watts at the launch of Jorgie's Journal
Zena Stanton, Nicola Stanton and Stephen Watts at the launch of Jorgie's Journal

A journal to help parents record their child's stay in Kettering General Hospital has been launched by the family of a Corby toddler who died following catastrophic failures on Skylark Ward.

The Stanton-Watts family lost their daughter Jorgie in 2016 just before her second birthday after a series of failures at KGH that a coroner ruled amounted to neglect.

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So now they have joined forces with Kettering General Hospital to launch a parents journal that will help families to record the experiences of their own child in hospital.

Jorgie, who suffered from a chronic condition, had dozens of admissions to hospital during her short life. Before her death she had spent six days in KGH but some of her basic medical needs were not met and she died of multi-organ failure caused by dehydration and sepsis.

Since then, the hospital have made a series of changes to procedures to try to ensure no other children suffer the same experience.

The latest one is the journal which will be owned by families and help them to keep their own record of the care of their loved one and allow them to note down important information they can discuss with staff.

The journal will be given to the parents of children who spend time on Skylark Ward

Jorgie's mum Nicola Stanton said: "This is to give parents the voice that we didn't have."

Grandma Zena Stanton said: "It's often thought that the doctors and nurses are the experts - but parents are the real experts on their children.

"This is truly important to us and we wanted to find something positive out of our sorrow.

“The idea of the journal is it helps parents to keep a note of all the important advice they receive, a record of key decisions, medication changes and test results, so that they feel they are up-to-date on everything that is being done to support their child.

Stephen Watts, and Nicola and Zena Stanton talk about why the journal is important to them

“It also enables them to note down, and then later reflect on, what is happening and may prompt questions to ask, to help them to get a better understanding of their child’s treatment.

“It is very stressful when parents have a child in hospital, and they may have to juggle many different things in the rest of their life. Having the Parents Journal will help them to feel in more control of the care of their child at what can be a very worrying time for them.”

Nicola said: "Parents may have a different interpretation or understanding of what's been said to them and that can cause problems later on.

"At least if it's all written down they don't have to try to keep it all in their head and they can use it to explain to the doctors later why they thought something was or wasn't going to happen. It will avoid a lot of he said, she said."

Jorgie's parents have asked for the opinions of other local parents of sick children through the group they run in their daughter's memory, Jorgie's Buddies.

"We've had lots of feedback," said Nicola. "And people have made suggestions and we have changed things. It was suggested that we got rid of a lot of the medical jargon because we really did want it to be for parents so the hospital made the changes.

"We really want this to be something that is welcomed by parents and by medical staff. We do think it will help to give parents a voice."

Kettering General Hospital’s Chief Executive Debbie Needham said: “As a trust we are committed to doing everything we can to improve the way we deliver care to patients and support their families.

“Jorgie’s family have made a very important contribution to future care for children by developing the Parents Journal and I would like to thank them for that.

“We will work with our staff to introduce the Journal and we are confident it will help to support parents at what can be a very challenging time in their lives.”