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Mother echoes call for allergy tsar after coroner's report into death of her daughter

A mother has joined in a call for an ‘allergy tsar’ as she marks the anniversary of her daughter’s death after a major reaction to eating food that contained nuts.

Shante-Turay Thomas

21 September 2020

Shante Turay-Thomas would have celebrated her 21st birthday this week, also two years since she died of acute anaphylaxis.

The inquest into her death heard that Shante waited almost an hour for an ambulance after her mother called NHS 111.

The Coroner identified numerous failures, including the discrepancy between call prioritisation in respect of anaphylaxis for NHS 111 calls compared to 999 calls, inadequacies in the training of NHS 111 call handlers and inadequacies in the prescribing of Emerade adrenaline auto-injector pens and training in their use.

Shante died in the early hours of 15 September, 2018. Her 21st birthday would have been Monday, 21 September, 2020.

Her mother Emma said:

“My beautiful Shante should have been celebrating her birthday this week. Instead I am remembering the night she died.”

She made the call for an allergy tsar, after a Prevention of Future Deaths report by Coroner Mary Hassell who conducted the inquest into her death, noted:

“There is no person with named accountability for allergy services and allergy provision at NHS England or the Department of Health as a whole.”

In the report, published last month, Ms Hassell listed concerns raised by events and processes that came to light as the story of Shante’s death unfolded.

The call for an allergy tsar within the Department of Health is also being made by the family of Natasha Ednan- Laperouse who died of anaphylaxis in July, 2016 after eating a baguette from Pret a Manger which contained sesame.

Natasha’s mother, Tanya Ednan-Laperouse said:

“There have been all too many deaths of young people due to allergic reactions to foods and the tragedy is that in every instance, their death was entirely avoidable. We are asking the Government to lead from the front and to urgently appoint an ‘Allergy Tsar’ to tackle the growing food allergy epidemic and take important steps to make sure the 2-3 million people with food allergies get the care and support they need.”

Leigh Day partner Jill Paterson, who represented both Shante and Natasha’s families at inquest, said:

“The PFDs report makes it clear that there are measures that must be taken to prevent the future tragic deaths of nut allergy sufferers. We welcome the call for a person with named accountability for allergy services and allergy provision at NHS England or the Department of Health as a whole.”

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