Inquest jury to hear 999 call made as child choked at Radlett nursery

Zoe and Adam Salt with their two-year-old daughter Sadie.

Zoe and Adam Salt with their two-year-old daughter Sadie who died at the Mini Learners nursery in Radlett on November 12 2020. - Credit: PA

A “distressing” 999 call made as a two-year-old child began choking while at nursery is to be shown to a jury, a pre-inquest review has heard.

Senior Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan said he hoped an inquest would hear the “fullest picture possible” of how Sadie Salt died.

The youngster is thought to have choked on a sausage while having lunch with 25 other young children at Mini Learners in Radlett, Hertfordshire, on November 12 2020.

She died in hospital two days later.

During a pre-inquest review at County Hall in Hertford on Tuesday, an inquest heard that evidence will be given by the Department for Education, Ofsted, witnesses, police and doctors.

Speaking about the 999 call, Mr Sullivan said: “I have listened to it, it is distressing.”

However, he added that it could be “possibly better than any live evidence” that may be heard from witnesses.

The call itself will be played during the inquest, lawyers for Sadie’s family said after the hearing.

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Charlotte Gilmartin, representing Sadie’s family, told the hearing the family have raised concerns about the timing of the 999 call and the rescue attempt by staff.

They have also requested to see First Aid certificates and evidence of training courses and childcare qualifications.

The pre-inquest review also heard that concerns relating to food safety guidance will be addressed.

Mr Sullivan said: “The guidance at first appeared to be a matter of great concern. The information coming through to this office from the statements from the nursery was that they weren’t aware of any guidance in relation to food provision and in particular relation to choking hazards.

“My officer contacted the Department for Education and was able to access specific early years guidance published in March 2017.

“There is also an updated statutory framework and that has reference to food and drink. The 2021 version contains specific guidance.”

Sadie’s parents Zoe and Adam Salt said in a statement: “In the time that has passed since Sadie’s death we have suffered grief and heartbreak that no family should have to endure.

“Nothing can make up for the devastating loss of our daughter, but part of being able to come to terms with what happened will be hearing a clear account of the events of that day.

“We are grateful to the coroner for at this early stage making the space to consider whether there are wider public interest issues surrounding the death of Sadie.”

The inquest, which is expected to last a week, has been adjourned until a date which has not been set.