A mother has slammed the government’s response to a coroner’s report, claiming that it ‘fails’ her autistic son, who died after falling from a cliff three years ago.
Patricia Alban’s son Sammy Alban-Stanley, 13, fell from cliffs at Ramsgate, Kent in April 2020 after climbing over the railings. Efforts were made to save his life, but he died of his injuries four days later at King’s College Hospital in London.
Sammy’s autism, as well as his Prader Willi Syndrome (PWS) meant he lacked a sense of danger and would put himself in harmful situations, which ultimately lead to his death. His mother says she had inadequate support while looking after him when he was alive.
After the 13-year-old’s inquest, the coroner published a Prevention of Future Deaths report to avoid similar tragedies occurring. In response, the government said the pandemic was at fault for the lack-of-care he received.
Kelly Tolhurst, Minister of State for Schools and Childhood, said: "The situation was unprecedented and presented new and unfamiliar demands on local authorities, schools and other services.
"The department and local authorities developed and improved processes throughout the response to the pandemic."
Patricia, from Kent, said: “Losing Sammy is the most excruciating, unrelenting pain, impossible to put into words.
“To think that the coroner’s thoughtful and forensically researched Prevention of Future Deaths Report would mean other parents and children avoid going through the same agony gave me hope. Instead the coroner’s suggestions have not only been ignored but refuted."