Faye Burdett meningitis petition family ‘ignored by government’ – BBC News

Image copyright Just Giving / Charlene Reed
Image caption Faye Burdett was taken to A&E with a rash on her forehead but died days later

The father of a two-year-old girl who died from meningitis B has accused the government of doing nothing to raise awareness of the disease.

Neil Burdett’s daughter Faye fought the disease for 11 days but died last year.

When the family released photographs of Faye, more than 820,000 people signed a petition for a jab for all children.

Mr Burdett, of Maidstone, gave evidence to MPs but said he had heard nothing. The government said the UK was first to introduce a vaccination programme.

‘Happy girl’

Mr Burdett and his wife Jenny had to make the decision to turn off Faye’s life support.

The disease had led to sepsis and they had already signed forms consenting to amputations, but knew the sepsis had caused further damage.

He said: “Her kidneys weren’t working and the list went on and on.

“She fought so hard. Turning off the machine was the hardest decision we have ever had to make but it was the right thing to do.”

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Image copyright Meningitis Now
Image caption Faye’s parents published the picture of their daughter just before her death

He said they remembered their daughter as a “happy girl who loved to run around.”

“She loved painting and was very clever for her age, she was so bright and determined.”

He said an investigation into Faye’s treatment was still ongoing, because she was sent home from Maidstone Hospital – but returned seven hours later.

The meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero, is available on the NHS for babies aged two months, but parents who wish to have older children vaccinated must pay privately.

Media captionFather says ‘nothing done’ on meningitis awareness since daughter’s death

Last year, the government refused to make the vaccine more widely available – a move described by Mr Burdett as “insulting and devastating.”

Former public health minister Jane Ellison pledged to launch an awareness campaign on signs of meningitis and the government agreed to release its cost calculations for vaccines.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “The UK is the first country in the world to have introduced a national meningitis B vaccination programme using Bexsero.

“We have made important progress, vaccinating more than one million babies since September 2015, in which time the number of cases in infants aged one and under has dropped by 50%.

“In addition our public awareness campaigns on sepsis and meningitis B have seen millions of leaflets distributed to GP clinics, hospitals and other public places – and we’ll set out further plans shortly.”

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-38960907