Devastated Parents Call For Improvements In Maternity Care After Twin Son Died After Birth

Irwin Mitchell To Investigate As Report Reveals Failings In Care


The heartbroken first-time parents of a newborn baby who died shortly after he and his twin sister were born at a Milton Keynes hospital are calling for improvements to be made in maternity services after a review found mistakes were made the pregnancy.

Joshua Burr and his twin sister Katie were born on 31st March but Joshua who was born in a poor condition tragically passed away two days later on 2nd April 2014 at John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford after having been transferred there after birth for further care.

His mum, Nicola Burr, from Milton Keynes, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care given to both her and the twins throughout her pregnancy. Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is currently investigating eight young babies deaths including Joshua’s.

The law firm has now secured an admission of liability from the NHS Trust responsible for Joshua’s care; they admitted that Nicola should have been advised to undergo a caesarean section 48 hours after a failed induction of labour (i.e. by 26th March 2014). It was admitted if this had taken place Joshua would have survived.

At an inquest today (14th December) into Joshua’s death at Milton Keynes Coroner’s Court, HM Corner Tom Osborne gave a narrative conclusion and commented: “There was a failure to deliver Joshua by caesarean section on 26th March 2014 following a failed induction of labour that would have avoided the severe hypoxic injury. There were also a number of missed opportunities during the period between 26th March to the 31st March to fully assess the situation with Joshua and proceed to an earlier delivery.”

Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust also carried out a Serious Untoward Incident report which recommended:

  • All staff to review their interpretation of antenatal CTGs
  • Midwifery and obstetric staff should ensure that they are fully up-to-date with policies and procedures

An independent report by a medical expert who carried out investigations into each of the five deaths found:

  • Problems with fetal monitoring
  • Staff needed to review practising guidelines including: management of multiple gestations, fetal monitoring and neonatal examination
  • NHS Trust to review unexpected neonatal anomalies.
Expert Opinion
“This is a truly heartbreaking case – Nicola and Neil were looking forward to being parents for the first-time to their twins.

“The findings of the Serious Untoward Incident report carried out by the NHS Trust and the independent report by a medical expert are extremely concerning as they highlight several issues with fetal monitoring and management of multiple gestations and Joshua is also one of five young babies who died at the hospital which are currently being investigated.

“We hope that the recommendations are taken into account by the NHS Trust and steps are taken to ensure lessons are learnt from this tragedy.”
Kate Major, Solicitor

Nicola, 38, said: “It’s incredibly difficult for us to come to terms with losing Joshua. We couldn’t wait to be parents for the first time and overjoyed when we found out we were having twins. Katie is developing well but when there is a birthday or Christmas or when she reaches any milestones we are heartbroken that Joshua is not here with us too.

“In the months after Joshua’s death we discovered that there were a number of other families who have apparently been given sub-standard care at Milton Keynes hospital and that seven other babies’ deaths were being investigated.

“I just hope that the hospital learns from the mistakes that have been made and improves their maternity services substantially so that no other families are put through the traumatic ordeal we faced in losing our baby boy.”