A FATHER who lost his daughter to meningitis has welcomed plans to diagnose the symptoms early from a government report which he played a vital role in creating.

Paul Gentry’s daughter Izzy died in 2016, when she was 16. He claims she was misdiagnosed with the wrong illness and sent home. Less then 48 hours later she was dead.

He now spends his time raising awareness and taking part in charity events to raise funds for Meningitis Now and the Meningitis Research Foundation.

Paul, of Stratton St Margaret, said: “Awareness is fully needed for this disease, the rapid decline effect it has is like no other. People mistake the symptoms as flu and this could be the difference between life or death – health care professionals need to recognise the symptoms.

“Ultimately this country needs to have the meningitis B vaccine made accessible and available for all ages.”

Earlier this month a report was published with a number of recommendations raised by the Meningococcal Working Group – which Paul is a member of.

It outlines 12 recommendations to improve the early diagnosis and treatment of meningitis, alongside raising awareness of the disease amongst parents, young people and healthcare professionals.

The 12 recommendations are based around a couple of different things.

Four of the recommendations concern diagnosis and treatment, and eight are aimed at specific organisations, including meningitis charities.

The working group was formed in January 2018 by the secretary of state for health and social care Jeremy Hunt, to assess what more needs to be done to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

Paul helped achieve this, he is a part of the formation of the working group and by using his story it played a vital role in discussions about the failures that led to the loss of his daughter.

He said: “I believe the recommendations will go a long way to improve initial diagnosis and treatment of meningitis patients and to eliminate further preventable deaths from this disease

“I want no one else to have to go through the loss of their loved one, grief is with you all the time.

“This is a step in the right direction now.”