Newborn Baby Died After Missed Opportunity to Request Caesarean Section

Coroner Is Critical of Care At Leicester Inquest


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The heartbroken parents of a newborn baby girl who died two days after she was born are speaking out after the Inquest at Leicester Coroner’s Court on 5 and 6 April 2016.

Clara Bassford, from Coalville, in Leicestershire, attended Leicester General Hospital on 6th March 2015 for routine monitoring of her pregnancy. Clara suffers from ulcerative colitis and the pregnancy was classed as ‘high risk’ because her two previous children had been born prematurely and needed to be closely monitored.

Whilst in hospital, Clara’s waters broke and her partner Mark told the midwives. She was admitted to the ward and was monitored for the rest of the day. Clara was kept in hospital overnight; however in the next morning she noticed that she had had a small bleed and that Delilah was not moving. There were delays in obtaining a reliable record of Delilah’s heart rate and there were episodes when her heart rate dipped.

Delilah Hubbard was born on 7th March 2015 at 32 weeks with no heartbeat and staff at Leicester General Hospital resuscitated her. She was transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary and admitted to the Neonatal Unit and was put on a ventilator to help her breathe. Sadly, Delilah died on 9th March just two-days-old.

Clara, 26, and Mark, 27, instructed specialist medical negligence solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to represent them at the two day Inquest before HM Assistant Coroner Mrs Diane Hocking.

Having heard all of the evidence, the Assistant Coroner concluded that there had been a missed opportunity to request a caesarean section at the time of the ward round on the morning of 7 March 2015. Had the caesarean section been requested at 10:15, on the balance of probabilities, Delilah would have been delivered by 11:00 and would have survived.

Anne Brundell, a specialist medical negligence solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said: 

Expert Opinion
“Clara and Mark have been through a traumatic ordeal and they have both been left devastated after losing Delilah.

“We had a number of concerns about the care that Clara received at the Leicester General Hospital over the two days, including the delays in obtaining a reliable record of the baby’s heart rate, problems with communication between staff and delays in making the decision for a caesarean section.

“We are pleased that the Coroner has reached this conclusion and has confirmed what the family has suspected – that mistakes were made and that Delilah would have survived had such mistakes not been made.”
Anne Brundell, Solicitor

 Mum-of-four, Clara said: "I am still trying to come to terms with losing my little girl and to hear that this could have been prevented is heart breaking. I am pleased that my concerns have been confirmed by the Coroner and I feel vindicated by her conclusions.

“I hope that the Trust will learn valuable lessons from this investigation and will take steps to ensure that this does not happen again. We don’t want any other families to go through what we have been through. Hopefully, Delilah hasn’t died in vain.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Medical Negligence Claims.