Baby death negligence is back in the news

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Baby death negligence is in the news again. For only the second time a criminal prosecution has been brought against an NHS maternity unit by the Care Quality Commission.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust admitted failings in the care of a baby who died from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and has been fined £800,000.

The baby’s death occurred at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham and involved a ‘catalogue of failings’.

Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy occurs when a baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen or blood flow at the time of birth. It is sometimes referred to as ‘birth asphyxia’ or ‘perinatal asphyxia’.

In this case it was found that the baby’s death could have been avoided if she had she been delivered earlier. Unfortunately all attempts to resuscitate her failed and she died after 23 minutes.

This is the largest fine to ever be imposed in relation to NHS maternity care and the Trust has issued a full apology to the family.

Leading midwife, Donna Ockenden, author of the Ockenden Review of maternity services, described the baby’s death as an ‘avoidable tragedy’ which should never have happened.

As Chair of the independent review of maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Donna Ockenden is seeking to improve maternity services at the Trust.

Medical negligence lawyer Oliver Thorne who has campaigned for improved maternity services commented:

“It’s welcoming that that cases like this are receiving the recognition they deserve, and I only hope that this latest case now sets a precedent, and the threats of fines will help to finally deliver safer maternity care in this country.”

If you would like to discuss baby death negligence with Oliver or his colleague Caroline Webber-Brown, then contact our free helpline on 0333 888 0436 or email [email protected].

Baby death negligence