HAMPSHIRE health bosses have responded to the death of an infant who passed away hours after being sent home from hospital.

Eoghan Reid died of an unidentified bacterial infection which developed into sepsis, Winchester Coroner’s Court was told.

The 13-month-old was discharged from A&E hours before, but the court heard that the infection was not apparent at that time.

Eoghan, of Grange Road, Alresford, was admitted to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital on December 11 2015 and treated for a suspected viral infection.

He returned to the RHCH hours later, and went into shock.

Eoghan was transferred to Southampton General Hospital but died on December 12.

Deirdre Thompson, director of patient care for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), said: “SCAS extends its sincere condolences to Eoghan’s family. The events leading up to Eoghan’s death and our response to them have been investigated by the trust. Based on the information provided in the first 999 call, Eoghan was categorised as a non-life threatening Green emergency patient, requiring an ambulance response in 30 minutes.

“Unfortunately, the first available ambulance arrived 81 minutes after it was called for.

“There are instances of peak demand on our service where we have to prioritise our staff, ambulances and rapid response vehicles to attend life-threatening incidents (coded as Red calls).

“We apologise unreservedly that this was the case with the first 999 call made by Eoghan’s family. SCAS undertakes regular reviews of the services we provide and the trust has already implemented new schemes to help free up ambulance resources at times of peak demand in order to provide an appropriate, responsive service to patients.”

Dr Andrew Bishop, interim chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Eoghan Reid. Our sympathy is with them at this difficult time.

“We take sepsis very seriously and have a number of tools in place to help us identify this condition.”

In a statement following the coroner’s conclusion, Eoghan’s family said: “We are pleased to hear that following Eoghan’s tragic death the Trust have implemented policies to try and ensure other parents don’t go through the devastation that we’ve had to endure.

“Eoghan was a happy, lively toddler and his life was sadly cut short. We hope lessons have been learnt. We will miss Eoghan for the rest of our lives.”