Settlement damages recovered by Geldards following still birth

Medical Negligence Associate Rachel Kirby has recovered damages of £38,000 on behalf of a client who received substandard care at Doncaster Royal Infirmary in 2020 which led to a stillborn baby.

The Trust admitted there were failings within the management of  the pregnancy namely that the patient had attended on a minimum of three separate occasions with complaints of reduced fetal movement.

An induction of labour was arranged but crucially cancelled as our client was not considered high priority.

Following a further attendance at 40 weeks for reduced movement our client was sadly advised that her daughter had died.  Our client was subsequently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It is of note that an investigation, undertaken by BBC Panorama and televised in May 2021, found that a review of the maternity services at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was undertaken by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2016, following a “number of clinical incidents” but the findings were never published.  It is of deep concern that these findings remain unpublished, and errors were still being made in 2020.

There are many natural causes for infant death during pregnancy and birth and following delivery. A claim for damages for medical negligence is only appropriate if it can be proven that treatment during pregnancy or birth or after delivery was substandard and that treatment resulted in the death. Whilst no amount of compensation will make up for the loss of a child, the law allows for parents of a deceased baby to recover damages for:

  • pain and suffering, typically for a recognised psychiatric injury.
  • loss of earnings for (often extended) time off work
  • counselling
  • funeral expenses

Support for bereaved women and those experiencing reduced movement can be found on the Kicks Count website.  They believe that “by empowering pregnant women with knowledge and confidence, babies’ lives can be saved.” Their leading baby movement awareness campaign is headed by Holly Willoughby and encourages women to contact their maternity unit immediately if they have any concerns about baby’s movements.

If you have been affected by maternity issues at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or any other hospitals and would like to speak with one of our medical negligence specialists, call us for a free consultation on 02920 391773 or contact Linda Williams by email.

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