A recent inquest into the death of a baby identified ‘missed opportunities’ by Harrogate District Hospital during her birth.

The baby was delivered by emergency Caesarean section on 3rd July 2018 at Harrogate District Hospital. She was born with severe brain damage, after requiring resuscitation at birth.

A natural delivery was first attempted by hospital staff, using forceps. This was despite the fact that the baby’s mother had already had an emergency Caesarean section during a previous pregnancy.

The baby was later transferred to Bradford Royal Infirmary, before being taken to Martin House Hospice on 12th July 2018. She sadly died later that day.

The inquest heard how medical staff at Harrogate District Hospital failed to obtain medical records, including previous maternity and delivery notes recording the Caesarean section, from another hospital trust. This was due to failings in the computer system itself, in which each individual hospital trust has its own system, meaning that patient’s medical history cannot easily be viewed between trusts.

The baby’s parents have since launched a campaign to ensure that medical records are shared between different hospital trusts, to improve maternity services and to prevent other families from experiencing similar failings.

Further failures demonstrated at the inquest included the fact that no PH test monitoring of the baby’s oxygen levels took place directly before the birth. Evidence was also shared of various delays during delivery.

An investigation undertaken by the hospital trust concluded that ‘there were avoidable delays in achieving the delivery of the baby, which caused or materially contributed to her sad death.’ Their recommendations including establishing ‘a robust process for obtaining previous maternity and obstetric notes if applicable,’ including a date for when medical notes should be received and an action plan if this date is not met.

The tragic circumstances of the baby’s death are sadly not a one off; The Guardian has previously reported regarding the ‘baby deaths scandal’ and referred to it being one of the largest scandals ‘in the history of the NHS’.

Here at Farleys Solicitors we have represented many families in a similar position. If you too have lost a baby and have been informed that an inquest will be called, our specialist inquests team are available to offer you the advice and support you need.

Our solicitors will do everything within our power to assist you at this extremely difficult time and to ensure the inquest delivers the answers you require, which may go some way to assist you in dealing with your grief. Call the team today on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online.