Medical Negligence Lawyers Contacted By Families Concerned About Care At Good Hope Hospital
Two mums have spoken of their concern and instructed lawyers to investigate their maternity care under a Birmingham Hospital Trust told to improve by a health watchdog.
The women from Solihull have separately asked specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their concerns after giving birth at Good Hope Hospital.
Boy suffered brain damage and a mum suffered perforated bowel and sepsis
In one case a baby boy was left permanently brain damaged after it was found a placenta had ruptured and he was starved of oxygen during delivery.
In the other, a mum in her 30s, suffered a life-threatening perforated bowel and developed sepsis – where the body attacks itself in response to an infection – days after undergoing a planned caesarean.
Birmingham maternity services told to improve by Care Quality Commission
The Sutton Coldfield hospital is run by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Earlier this month, health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) downgraded maternity services at Good Hope Hospital as well as Heartlands Hospital, which the Trust also runs.
The CQC issued a warning notice for the service at Heartlands Hospital after rating it ‘inadequate’. It found parts of the service was “not fit for purpose”.
Inspectors said that the service at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield ‘required improvement’.
Medical negligence lawyers investigate families' maternity care concerns
Expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have represented and continue to represent dozens of families with concerns about the care they received at Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals.
The firm also represents hundreds of families affected by maternity care failings across the country. It’s campaigning for improvements in maternity care nationally.
Sara Burns, is a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office.
Expert Opinion“We continue to be contacted by families concerned about the maternity care they received under the Hospital Trust. The first-hand accounts we’re hearing are particularly worrying. They not only include serious birth injuries to babies but also life-threatening injuries to mums.
“We’re now investigating these concerns to provide the families we represent with the answers they deserve and where appropriate access to the specialist care, support and therapies they require. If during the course of our investigations any issues are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned.
“While we welcome the Trust’s commitment that it’s working to improve care following the issues raised by the CQC, it’s vital that decisive action is taken to address these.
“Patient safety should be the fundamental priority in all care therefore we also continue to campaign to improve maternity safety nationally. We see first-hand the devastation that maternity failings can have. Each case isn’t a statistic; it’s a human story of how lives have been turned upside down.” Sara Burns
What the CQC said
The CQC published its ratings following an inspection in February.
Following the inspection report UHBT said while the service was facing significant challenges, it had worked to make improvements.
It said the care and safety of women and their families was its priority.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting families with maternity care concerns at our dedicated medical negligence section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.
Baby Boy left brain damaged after birth injury
Kelly Envine’s son Hugo Ison has been left with permanent brain damage after he was starved of oxygen during his delivery.
Kelly, of Marston Green, Solihull, had undergone scans earlier in her pregnancy which highlighted a potential low-lying placenta – a condition which can prevent a natural delivery. However, subsequent scans were reported as showing the placenta had moved. Kelly said she was reassured it was safe for her to have a natural delivery of her baby.
On 13 July, 2020, at 39 weeks pregnant, Kelly called the maternity assessment centre at Good Hope Hospital concerned of painless bleeding, estimated to be around 200 millilitres.
She was advised to attend hospital. Shortly after her arrival at around 7pm she was transferred to the delivery suite with a plan to break her waters.
However, after Kelly started experiencing bleeding again, her care was escalated to an obstetrician. Hugo’s heart rate dropped and a decision was made to perform a category one caesarean – where there is an immediate risk to life.
It took two attempts to successfully anaesthetise Kelly. Surgeons started the procedure and found a low-lying placenta. Hugo was delivered through the placenta and in a poor condition. He was pale and floppy and had to be resuscitated.
Concerns over Hugo's care after he was delivered
Following his birth, Hugo had to undergo a blood transfusion and staff tried to put him on a ventilator. However, this was found not to be working properly because of a loose wire, an investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) found.
Hugo had to be manually ventilated via a mask and bag for three-and-a-half-hours while another ventilator was brought from another hospital.
The HSIB found that Hugo had low levels of carbon dioxide in his blood and considered the amount of time Hugo underwent manual ventilation was “suboptimal”. Prolonged bag and mask ventilation may have affected his blood flow and may have contributed to his brain injury, it found.
Kelly lost nearly two pints of blood in the caesarean. Following tests it was discovered that Hugo had suffered a complication with the placenta where blood vessels weren’t protected and ruptured.
Hugo spent 17 days in hospital. Now approaching three-years-old, Hugo has been diagnosed with right dysplastic cerebral palsy.
Mum Kelly asks lawyers to secure access to specialist support Hugo will need
Kelly, 42, who runs a family construction business, and lives with her partner, Rob and their three other children has instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access the specialist lifelong care, support and therapies Hugo is expected to require.
She said: “When I went into hospital, I knew something wasn’t quite right but at no point did I get the impression that the staff were overly concerned. However, that all changed when they decided I needed a caesarean. Everything then seemed to move so quickly.
“Seeing Hugo so fragile and fighting for his life was absolutely horrible. It’s something that will stay with me forever.
“What should have been such a joyous time for our family will always be overshadowed by what happened. While we adore Hugo and feel lucky to have him in our lives it’s difficult not to think whether things could have turned out differently.
“Hugo’s an adorable little boy who amazes us with the courage and determination he shows each day.
“Our focus now is on giving Hugo the best life possible while getting answers to the many concerns we have about what happened. What’s really upsetting is that it appears that other families may also have concerns about their care.
“I just hope that following the CQC report the Trust improves services for families in the future.”
Mum suffers perforated bowel and sepsis
Natalie Chubb has revealed her battle to overcome a life-threatening condition she developed days after delivering her second child.
The 34-year-old underwent a caesarean on 11 January this year at Good Hope Hospital.
After delivering daughter, Brooke, Natalie, began experiencing bowel complications. She complained of pain, constipation and struggling to eat. Natalie, a factory worker, said she was told her condition was normal after a caesarean.
Over the next two days her symptoms persisted, and she began vomiting faeces. Natalie, of Fordbridge, Solihull, had a CT scan and feeding tube inserted. However, she continued to complain of persisting symptoms.
On 18 January, a week after her C-section a second CT scan showed she had a ruptured bowel and sepsis. She underwent emergency surgery to remove part of her bowel and fit a stoma.
Natalie remained in hospital until 10 February.
She is now back home with Brooke, partner Chris Cartwright, aged 39, and son, Callum Chubb aged 13. However, she continues to suffer both physically and emotionally and is waiting to hear if her stoma can be reversed.
Natalie wants answers over care
Natalie said: “As soon as I delivered Brooke it felt as though the pain started. As the days went on I felt like I needed the toilet but I couldn’t go and the pain kept getting worse. Despite this I was told that what I was experiencing was normal after a C-section.
“It felt like I spent hours in absolute pain, crying out then the next thing I was told I had to be put to sleep because my bowel had ruptured and I had sepsis, and if they didn’t operate, I would die.
“Giving birth to Brooke was meant to be one of the happiest times of my life. However, because of everything else that happened that time is a horrific memory which causes me great upset. Even when I went home that wasn’t the end of it. Because of everything I went through I was often fatigued and was reliant on others to care for me. It feels like I’ve missed out on special time bonding with Brooke.”
The Hospital Trust sent Natalie a letter apologising “for any upset and undue worries the return to theatre and having to have additional surgery” caused.
The Trust said it would investigate. However, it said its findings would likely to be delayed because of demands it faced. She has now instructed Irwin Mitchell to secure answers.
Natalie added: “I appreciate the Trust has a lot to contend with but I’ve also gone through a terrible ordeal which could have killed me.
“If there are issues in what happened to me how can these issues be identified and improvements made to protect other patients if there’s going to be delays? If I waited for the Trust I fear it could take many months for it to come back during which time others could potentially find themselves in a similar situation to me.
“I feel I deserve answers.”