Jessica Holbrook, from Brierley, visited surgeries run by i-Heart Barnsley twice after complaining of a cold, sore throat and tickly cough.
The 23-year-old, who had sat exams to become a paramedic and was working for Yorkshire Ambulance Service organising appointments at the time, had been staying at the house of her grandmother, Barbara Robinson, on December 12, 2017, ahead of a shift at Barnsley Hospital the following day.
However, a day later, she called in sick and attended another out-of-hours appointment and was prescribed penicillin for tonsillitis.
Jessica’s condition continued to deteriorate and the following day an ambulance was called to her grandmother’s house. However, she died from sepsis before arriving at Barnsley Hospital.
The bacterial infection arises when the body’s response injures its own tissues and organs. It leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death if it’s not recognised early and treated promptly.
Jessica’s family, including dad Leigh, 50, said they will continue campaigning to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis after medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell secured an undisclosed sum in a settlement with i-Heart.
Leigh said: “Jess was the most loving person and all she wanted to do is help others. We will always struggle to come to terms with how when she needed help she was let down.
“She had her entire life ahead of her and it is heartbreaking that she never got to fulfil her potential.
“We didn’t really know much about sepsis before - it wasn’t until her death that we started to learn how terrible it is, how quickly it can take hold and how understanding of the signs and symptoms remains very low.
“It is too late for our family but we will not stop campaigning to raise awareness of the symptoms of sepsis. Jess wanted to save lives by becoming a paramedic so we hope by telling her story she can help achieve what she wanted to do in life.”
Earlier this year coroner David Urpeth concluded that there had been ‘gross failings’ in Jessica’s care and ruled that ‘Jessica’s death was contributed to by neglect’ at an inquest which was held in Sheffield.
An investigation carried out by i-Heart, part of Barnsley Healthcare Federation, found that at Jessica’s second appointment there was evidence she was septic including a heart rate above 130 beats per minute - but ‘this was not acted on’.
Dr David Shutt, medical director at the Barnsley Healthcare Federation, said its procedures for the identification and treatment of sepsis have since been reviewed.
He added: “We are very sorry about the death of Jessica and would like to pass on our sympathies to her friends and family.
“Since Jessica’s death we have reviewed our procedures for identifying and treating patients with sepsis and learned lessons from this tragic incident.”
Anna Stacey, the family’s lawyer, said Jessica and her family paid ‘the ultimate price’ as a result of the failings.
“Jessica’s tragic death is a stark reminder of how dangerous sepsis can be if those displaying symptoms do not receive timely medical treatment,” she said.
“A number of extremely worrying failings have been identified in the care Jessica received and as a result her family have had to pay the ultimate price.
“While nothing can ever make up for Jessica’s death we welcome the position that i-Heart has taken in helping to resolve the case quickly, avoiding the need for a lengthy legal process that would have only added to the family’s pain.
“It is vital that lessons are learned from Jessica’s death to improve patient care. We continue to support the family in helping to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis.”