THE family of a boy left severely disabled after contracting jaundice has been invited by the medical director of NHS England to discuss their experience to improve care in the future.
Sir Bruce Keogh has invited Michael and Elena Kalisperas to meet with professionals after their son Vasili had symptoms of jaundice following his birth but an unaccompanied student midwife failed to follow procedure.
The two-year-old, nicknamed Little Spartan by his father, has been left with cerebral palsy and is deaf, virtually blind and has a form of brain damage called kernicterus.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability and said it was deeply sorry for the mistakes.
The Patient Safety Domain conducted a review of data reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) on jaundice and exchange transfusion which identified the potential for serious harm, including the risk or kernicterus.
The letter said issues relating to jaundice persisted despite guidelines and said it was currently evaluating how to best address the issues and asking Mr Kalisperas to become involved in the work.
He said: "We're absolutely going to get involved.
"I had written to the NHS and MP Harriet Baldwin to ask them to consider adding kernicterus to the never event list [worst preventable mistakes].
"If the US have added it then why hasn't this country?
"Our patients are just as important as those in American and Australia.
"It was nice to get the letter just before his second birthday and our daughter's christening - it felt like a small victory but I'm aware I need to keep the pressure on.
Mr and Mrs Kalisperas, who also have daughters Ellie, five, and Maria, nine months, found their lives have changed profoundly since Vasili was born and Mr Kalisperas now only works one day a week at Barnard's Green Fish Bar.
They have continued to raise awareness of jaundice and kernicterus and have been contacted by parents of children who avoided a similar fate after reading their story online.
Mr Kalisperas added: "My son is amazing - he really is my little Spartan.
"He just makes me so proud."
For more information on Vasili's story log on to mylittlespartan.co.uk.