Alex Theodossiadis: Leeds DJ’s death prompts meningitis awareness call

Posted: 5th December 2021

The family of a Leeds DJ who died after contracting meningitis has called for more awareness among healthcare staff.

Alex Theodossiadis, 25, died after he was transferred between two hospitals in the city in January 2020.

His inquest heard he was moved without a nursing escort and with inadequate handover notes, prompting an apology from an NHS trust.

Mr Theodossiadis’s parents said they were pleased a coroner had highlighted issues surrounding his death.

The DJ had been unwell for days before he was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by taxi and then transferred across the city.

He died on 28 January after he was seen to fall and bang his head on the floor at St James’ Hospital, although an inquest in Wakefield heard he was likely to have already succumbed to meningitis.

The causes of his death were listed as sepsis, meningitis and a subdural haemorrhage, with coroner Kevin McLoughlin delivering a narrative conclusion.

On Friday, Mr McLoughlin said he would be writing two “prevention of further deaths” reports.

He also said he would write to the Royal College of General Practitioners with advice for GP receptionists on being meningitis-aware.

On Saturday, his mother Prof Sue Theodossiadis, a medical imaging expert, said the handover between hospitals was “shocking and Alex was a victim of that”, and noted the coroner used the word “astonishing” to describe the poor communication.

She said: “The coroner picked up that there’s a need for [GP] receptionists to ask questions and help people to disclose what they need to disclose and triage them to get urgent appointments. I think that’s a positive.”

Her husband, consultant psychiatrist Dr Alex Theodossiadis, said all healthcare professionals, including receptionists, needed to be aware of the difficulties young people have explaining themselves.

He added: “This is the point of entry to the system and it needs to be easy and user-friendly.”

The pair, who live in Hale, Greater Manchester, said they hoped lessons would be learned from the death.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust previously apologised for the standard of care.

Source: Alex Theodossiadis: Leeds DJ’s death prompts meningitis awareness call – BBC News December 2021

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