Heartbroken Parents Call For Better Treatment From Maternity Services
The devastated parents of a baby delivered stillborn have spoken out about their heartache for the first time as the NHS Trust responsible for their son’s care admitted it was liable for the significant delay in performing a caesarean section, which would have delivered the baby alive.
Baby Oliver was tragically stillborn at Pinderfields General Hospital on 22nd September, 2015, after his mother Leigh Mutch, 31, attended the hospital for an appointment with the Antenatal Day Unit due to concerns about reduced fetal movements.
Along with her partner Marc Allen, Leigh instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care she received during her pregnancy from Mid Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust.
Following Irwin Mitchell’s investigation, expert lawyers secured an admission of liability from the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and an undisclosed out-of-court settlement to help cover the support needed for Leigh to overcome the trauma and distress caused by this experience.
Leigh was admitted to the Antenatal Day Unit just before 4pm on the 22nd September, and was under cardiotocography (CTG) monitoring for an hour. A CTG machine enables hospital staff to monitor the baby’s heart rate during pregnancy.
Shortly after 5pm, the midwife requested a Consultant review as there were concerns with what the monitoring was showing. The Consultant decided that Leigh should be transferred to the Labour ward for further monitoring.
Leigh was transferred to the labour ward without her notes and more importantly, without the results of her CTG monitoring.
This meant that the severity of Leigh’s situation was overlooked. The CTG trace was suspicious again at 6.15pm and at 6.40pm a Consultant decided that a caesarean section should be performed. However, he did not categorise it as urgent. Leigh was not transferred to theatre until 7pm and by the time the caesarean section took place at 7.28pm, unfortunately it was too late. Resuscitation was unsuccessful and tragically, Oliver did not survive.
Leigh, a mother-of-five, said: “Marc and I were left completely traumatised by Oliver’s death. We are still struggling to come to terms with losing him. It is so heart-breaking.
“I had been to my GP and the hospital on four previous occasions with reduced movements during my pregnancy. I knew something was not right. I feel completely let down by the maternity services and the treatment I received at Pinderfields Hospital. My advice to other women is to trust their bodies and to keep an eye on their babies’ movements. It is so upsetting to know that if Oliver had been delivered earlier, he would be here now.
“We hope that by speaking out about our experience and raising awareness of the poor treatment we received, we will prevent other parents going through the same thing.”
In its own analysis of the case, the NHS Trust found that there were significant delays in making a decision to undertake and perform a caesarean section that ultimately would have resulted in Leigh’s son being born alive.
Rebecca Pearey, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who represented Leigh, said:
Expert Opinion“This loss has been absolutely heartbreaking for Leigh and Marc, their children and their families.
“We welcome the Trust’s admission of liability and willingness to settle this case. We hope that lessons have been learned from this tragic incident to prevent other families from suffering in this way.
“Of course all of this has sadly come too late for Leigh and Marc and although nothing can turn back the clock, we hope they can now begin to move on with their lives as much as possible.” Rebecca Pearey - Associate Solicitor