A photograph of a pair of pink baby shoes to mark birth trauma awareness week.

Queen’s Medical Centre maternity neglect

An inquest last month found that neglect by staff at Nottingham University Hospitals contributed to the death of a baby. Wynter Andrews was born by casarean section at Queen’s Medical Centre maternity unit after significant delays. Assistant coroner, Laurinda Bower, criticised the maternity unit’s “unsafe culture”, warning that Wynter’s death was not an isolated incident.

A catalogue of errors

Wynter’s mother attended hospital the day before, after feeling contractions days earlier. Unfortunately staff at Queen’s Medical Centre maternity unit failed to recognise she was in established labour. Amongst other errors, they didn’t treat her high blood pressure and failed to sufficiently handover her case to colleagues.

Unfortunately, Wynter was born in poor condition. Her umbilical cord became wrapped around her neck, starving her of oxygen. Despite staff at Queen’s Medical Centre maternity unit’s best efforts, they were unable to resuscitate her.

Staff incorrectly recorded an earlier scan, which highlighted heartbeat irregularities. Dr Gemma Wright, an obstetrician, told the inquest that if delivered by C-section one hour earlier Wynter would have survived.

Staff from Queen’s Medical Centre warn maternity unit was unsafe

The inquest heard that months before Wynter’s death, overworked staff struggling to keep up with the workload warned hospital chiefs that the unit was “unsafe”. The Head of Midwifery at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust also told the inquest that the maternity unit was unsafe.

Calls for an investigation into Nottingham University Hospitals Trust maternity

Wynter’s mother, Sarah Andrews, is calling on the Home Secretary to launch an investigation into the maternity unit at Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham University Hospitals Trust. Unfortunately Wynter is not the first baby to have died due to errors made at this trust. Harriet Hawkins was stillborn years earlier after staff failed to recognise her mother was in a prolonged and dysfunctional labour. Harriet’s death is similar to Wynters, with poor monitoring and recording contributing to the 13 failings identified by an independent investigation.

We have seen a growing number of maternity units undergoing investigations. Such as East Kent Hospitals University Trust, Shrewsbury and Telford and Prince Charles and Royal Glamorgan Maternity. These cases stretch into hundreds of incidents involving injuries and baby deaths. How many babies must die due to Nottingham University Hospitals Trust’s failings before action is taken? Poor staffing levels should never be linked to a baby dying again. The government and the NHS must listen to their staff and help them identify any early signs of poor care.

Birth Injury Experts

Pryers understand that any problems during labour can have long lasting consequences for the whole family. We have helped many clients who have suffered as a result of poor maternity care. If you think you have received poor maternity care at Nottingham University Hospital Trust, contact us to see if we can help you claim compensation.

Speak to our team on 1904556600 or contact us to find out if we help you claim on a no win no fee basis.

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