A TEENAGE girl who died from cancer might still be alive today had her treatment not been hampered by a series of delays and medical failures, an inquest has concluded.

Thirteen-year-old Tanisha Baverstock died on January 31 last year after signs showing she had been suffering from lymphoma were missed.

On December 31 2018, after suffering from a persistent cough, breathlessness and weight loss, Tanisha went to see her GP.

Wiltshire and Swindon coroner’s court heard that on that occasion, Dr Martin Allen, of Salisbury-based practice Fisherton House, instructed her mum to book a blood test but there is a dispute as to how urgent he said the test was.

By the time Tanisha took the test and was seen again by her GP more than three weeks later, her symptoms had got worse and a referral was made to Salisbury District Hospital.

The inquest heard Tanisha’s appointment was booked on January 29 despite there being earlier slots available on the evening the referral was made (January 25) and at the weekend.

Dr Jim Baird, a paediatric consultant, examined the teenager, who had recently moved from Salisbury to Calne. However, at the inquest, Dr Baird admitted he made a “mistake” while reviewing the results of a chest X-ray and, attributing her symptoms to a common chest infection, he concluded the visit by prescribing a course of antibiotics.

Tanisha, who had been told to come back in four weeks, died two days later at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Her mother Kelly told the inquest that she only found out that her daughter had cancer the day before she died upon receiving a call from doctors at Salisbury who had re-examined her X-ray.

The inquest heard Ms Baverstock was told to take Tanisha back to hospital “urgently” but this is disputed by the teen’s mum who says she was instructed to wait for a further call advising her on whether to take her child to Bath or Bristol.

After receiving a missed call from Dr Stephen Lowis, a consultant paediatric oncologist at Bristol, Tanisha’s mum drove her daughter to Bristol’s A&E.

Dr Lowis told the inquest that by the time Tanisha arrived in hospital on January 30 her case had become “a medical emergency”. She had an excess of fluid around her heart “that needed to be drained immediately”.

But after losing consciousness during the course of the procedure, all attempts to resuscitate her failed.

“If I had known my daughter was going to die, I would have had chance to say goodbye – that was taken away from me,” said Ms Baverstock.

“I remember asking the question how long Tanisha had cancer for and I was told two weeks. I was told when they opened her up that she was completely riddled with cancer and her heart had haemorrhaged and she was going to die today anyway.”

Dr Lowis said the teenager was affected by a type of lymphoma that is “definitely curable” through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

In his narrative conclusion, Coroner Ian Singleton found that “the delay in the blood tests being arranged”, “the delay in Tanisha being seen by the paediatric team”, “the inadequacy” of her examination on January 29 and the consultant’s “failure” to notice changes to her lungs “more likely than not contributed to Tanisha not being given the steroid treatment she required on or before 29 January 2019”.

He added: “Had she received such treatment she more likely than not would have survived.”

During the last day of evidence, two doctors from Salisbury District Hospital said recommendations to improve practice have been made and that “we have minimised the risks as much as we can of a situation like Tanisha’s happening again”.