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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Five-figure payout after newborn baby dies in Worcestershire hospital

22nd January 2009

A couple have won a five-figure pay-out after hospital blunders led to the death of their baby son hours after birth.

Harry Jones

Mistakes by midwives caused Nadia and Steve Jones, of Kidderminster, to lose their son Harry seven hours after he was born at Worcestershire Royal Hospital because he was starved of oxygen.

Mr Jones was wrongly told Harry was stillborn when the child was actually fighting for his life in the neonatal unit.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust has admitted liability and paid the couple compensation for the tragedy.

Mrs Jones, aged 37, described how midwives told her to go home and “not worry” three times in the days leading up to the birth rather than inducing labour when her waters broke.

Reports have shown that, if they had carried out routine checks, medics would have seen the baby was already in distress and needed to be delivered.Mrs Jones said: “To lose a child after carrying him for nine months is bad enough but to discover that basic errors resulted in Harry’s death and that they were entirely preventable has been very difficult to cope with. For four years I felt unable to cope with work and had to give up my job as a manager of a charity shop.”

Nadia Jones

Nadia, who has since had three-year-old daughter Halle and one-year-old Edward, added: “It’s been so difficult for us to rebuild our lives and, although we are now trying to move forward, I don’t think Steve or I will ever completely get over what happened. All I can say is that any expectant mothers out there must make sure they take control of the situation and not let the midwives bully them like they did with me.”

It was only when Mrs Jones returned a fourth time to hospital and the baby’s heartbeat could not be found that she was rushed into surgery for an emergency caesarian section.

Baby Harry was born at 8.08am on September 15, 2004, in a very poor condition, but nurses told anxious husband Mr Jones that his baby had died.

A while later Mr Jones, a 45-year-old maintenance engineer, discovered this had been a mistake, got to see his baby in an incubator, and held him briefly before the newborn died in his arms.

Family solicitor Guy Forster, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, said the cause of death was recorded as due to oxygen starvation and septicaemia. “Harry would, in all likelihood, be alive and well today if the hospital had provided adequate care and reacted to the clear warning signs that he was in distress,” Mr Forster said.

“Nadia attended the hospital on three occasions only to be told everything was fine and she should go home. Each time vital opportunities to intervene and deliver baby Harry safely were missed. Their grief was compounded by poor communication from clinicians who gave them incorrect information regarding Harry’s condition.”

John Rostill, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Trust, said: “We would like to convey the profound regret felt by all the clinicians and staff involved with the birth of Harry and to apologise for the shortcomings in the antenatal and postnatal care. We appreciate that the past four years must have been an extremely difficult time.”

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