A BOY died after staff were told not to take him to the Alexandra Hospital, just two minutes from his home.

Instead, eight-year-old Callum Cartlidge was taken to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester by ambulance.

An investigation has now been launched after Callum suffered a cardiac arrest on Friday, March 3.

It has been policy to take the most seriously ill children in the county to Worcester since September.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called to an address in Redditch at 3.26pm on Friday March 3 to reports of an 8 year old boy in cardiac arrest.

“A rapid response vehicle arrived five minutes after the call. The paramedic immediately started life support.

“An ambulance arrived shortly afterwards. Together the three members of staff performed advanced life support.

“The ambulance left scene for Worcestershire Royal Hospital at 3.42pm with the crew continuing to treat the patient; it arrived at hospital 23 minutes later, at 4.05pm.

“Having reviewed the case, there is no doubt that the ambulance staff did absolutely everything possible to help the child.

“Our thoughts remain with his family.”

Callum was taken to his GP on Tuesday where he was diagnosed with tonsillitis and stomach ache.

On Thursday, March 2 he had low blood sugar and was taken to Worcestershire Royal but discharged at 11pm.

The following afternoon he suffered a cardiac arrest and ambulance staff asked to go to Redditch but were instead sent all the way to Worcester.

They arrived in 23 minutes but Callum died. Following Callum’s tragic death, dozens of tributes have been paid by friends and family on social media.

Posting on Facebook, his mother Stacey said: "RIP my darling son Callum. Words cannot describe how we are all feeling.

"I love you so much son, fly high baby boy I will see you again I promise. Goodnight darling."

Former chairman of the Save The Alex campaign Neal Stote said he was "deeply upset" by the news.

He said: "We warned, we shouted, we protested, we were ignored and now our worst fears."

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed Callum's death. They said: "We can confirm that a patient died on Friday afternoon at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. The trust offers sincere condolences to the family.

"As with any sudden unexpected death in childhood there will be a referral to the coroner, a post mortem and a full external sudden unexpected deaths in childhood investigation as well as our own internal processes for an serious incident investigation.

"Until our investigations have been completed we cannot comment further."

A fundraising page, set up by Callum's auntie Anita Walsh, to pay for a headstone and a memorial garden, has almost reached its target of £3,000 already.

It reads: "My eight-year-old nephew Callum fell asleep in the afternoon and never woke up.

"I would like to make it possible for Callum’s mom and dad to buy a headstone and make him a beautiful garden for his twin brother and family to visit."

To make a donation visit, gofundme.com/tpvm24-callums-resting-place.