Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been condemned by medical professionals after suggesting that parents Google symptoms before taking their children to A&E.

Responding to a report regarding the death of one-year-old William Mead, who died in December 2014 after an NHS out-of-hours call operator failed to spot the correct symptoms, Mr Hunt has admitted that the 111 call hotline needed to be better staffed.

But he also suggested parents could determine the severity of their child’s rash online, by comparing pictures. These suggestions have come under enormous criticism from doctors and nurses, who say that – since the Health Secretary does not hold full responsibility for the nation’s health – doctors and nurses could be held responsible for the “fatal consequences” which could result.

Dr Hamed Khan, an emergency department doctor at Saint George’s Hospital in London, said that making the distinction between different rashes “requires clinical skill and focussed training of the highest level.”

Dr Khan also suggested that Mr Hunt “should publicly retract this statement and admit that it was an error of judgement.”