Pryers Solicitors

Midwives failing led to baby’s death

Joshua Titcombe died just nine days after he was born from pneumococcal septicaemia and a lung haemorrhage due to the failings of two midwives.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council in London ruled that the midwives’ negligence meant Joshua was not given the chance to see a doctor shortly before his death, who might have been able to treat him.

When Joshua was found to have a low temperature, whilst being cared for at Furness General hospital in Cumbria, midwives Lindsey Biggs and Holly Parkinson should have referred him to a paediatrician.

Joshua’s father, James Titcombe said: “Obviously I’m deeply sad. To see these words on paper has a huge meaning for us. It’s about not having a little boy with us who would be seven years old.”

“But it is a relief that the truth has finally been proven. We have faced years and years of denial and have not felt that any of the midwives involved have ever accepted any responsibility for what happened”, he continued.

Mr Titcombe and his wife have claimed they told hospital staff on numerous occasions the day before she gave birth to Joshua that she felt unwell.

They were concerned that she might catch an infection from their young daughter who had been sent home ill from nursery.

The panel concluded that Biggs failed to carry out the three-hourly observations of the newborn, did not inform a Paediatrician when she recorded his low temperature and failed to record notes of Joshua’s mother correctly.

The panel continued by saying Parkinson had failed to get a doctor when she too recorded a low temperature for Joshua, and she has admitted to not documenting the advice for observation from the Paediatrician.

An inquiry into Morecombe Bay NHS, which includes Furness General Hospital, found that there were 11 unnecessary deaths of babies, and a mother, between 2004 and 2013.

Biggs was dismissed from the hospital this year following the investigation into the death of a baby in February. The Trust said her conduct “fell fundamentally below our acceptable standards”.

Earlier hearings by The Nursing and Midwifery Council into Joshua’s death cleared two midwives, Gretta Dixon and Catherine McCullough, of any wrongdoing.

Marie Ratcliffe was stuck off last year in relation to this case, Joanne Watts is scheduled for a hearing later this year and one further, unnamed midwife, is currently under investigation.

“If we had been told the truth to start with then the last seven years would have been much easier for us, we wouldn’t have wanted any action or blame against the midwives. It is the denial that has been so hurtful. It’s a huge relief to our family that the truth has finally been established”, said Mr Titcombe.

Have you or a loved one suffered an injury during the birth of your child due to failings of a medical team or service? Pryers are a leading national firm of Medical Negligence Lawyers. Our dedicated team of lawyers and experts are well equipped to investigate and advise on all issues of medical treatment.