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August 23, 2022

Nottingham Maternity Scandal Leads To Several Birth Injuries & Child Deaths

We spoke to some families who are victims of the Trust’s failings.

Hayley Coates lost her first baby, Kaylan, in 2018. Hayley, 28, from mum from Broxtowe, in Nottinghamshire, says her first pregnancy was completely normal but everything went wrong during her long and difficult labour.

She kept pushing but nothing was happening and even she asked for a Caesarean section, staff kept saying she would have her baby naturally. When Kaylan was eventually delivered with forceps, he had a fractured skull, was starved of oxygen and he suffered major brain injuries.

She said; "I was on a drip for a very long time and Kaylan's heartbeat was dipping but they just left me."

Kaylan Coates soon developed an infection and spent most of his short life just lying lifeless in an incubator with so many drugs pumped into him. He died in hospital from an infection a week later.

Hayley said: "The only time I got to hold Kaylan was when he had died. I didn't get to feel his warmth while he was alive, I didn't get to kiss his head. I didn't get to do anything."

Kaylan was born in 2018 at Queen's Medical Centre, one of two hospitals in the city run by NUH.

Hayley Coates says the pain of losing her first baby will never go away.

However, the Trust’s incident investigation report following Kaylan's death states the care they gave to Hayley was in line with national guidelines.

But an inquest this year identified serious failings, with the coroner saying the care Hayley received was "nothing short of shocking" and Kaylan's death "could and should have been avoided".

Hayley Coates gave birth to twins three years after her first child died and is now mum to four-month-old twin boys and a daughter, aged 16 months. But she battles with PTSD and depression and is taking legal actions against the trust even as she supports plans for an independent inquiry where all the families who have been affected can be heard.

Also, Jack Hawkins wants an inquiry into the maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals.

Every year Jack and his partner Sarah hold a small celebration to mark their daughter Harriet's birthday who would have been five this year. In April 2016, Sarah gave birth to her stillborn daughter at Nottingham City Hospital after she had been in labour for six days.

Harriet was delivered nine hours after dying.

Sarah said: "We knew as soon as they told us Harriet was dead, that something was wrong. I had been in labour for days. I wasn't listened to, I wasn't heard. I was made to feel like a total fraud."

Jack adds: "We raised concerns immediately. We were both senior clinicians at the trust at the time and we asked our friends and colleagues what was happening, why are babies dying? But no-one listened to us and it took years to find out the truth."

BBC News has since seen an internal report by the trust after Harriet’s death which concluded the hospital had followed care guidelines and that there was "no obvious fault" by NUH.

Jack and Sarah however pushed for an external independent investigation which found 13 failings in care and concluded Harriet's death was "almost certainly preventable".

Jack and Sarah have not been able to work since losing Harriet.

"We know there will be more than a missing classroom of babies that should be alive. "We deserve a completely independent public inquiry going back at least a decade. Everyone needs answers and we need to stop it from happening again." says Jack.

An investigation by Channel 4 News and the Independent reported 46 babies had suffered brain damage and 19 were stillborn in Nottingham in recent years.

The BBC also discovered there have been at least seven preventable deaths of babies between 2015 and 2020. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated both maternity services run by NUH as inadequate.

BBC News, through a freedom of information probe, also learned there have been 34 maternity investigations following adverse incidents at NUH since 2018.

They have involved:

  • Three maternal deaths
  • 22 babies who faced potential severe brain injury
  • Four neonatal deaths
  • Five stillbirths

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has also identified numerous deficiencies in care and made 74 recommendations to NUH across all the cases they investigated.

If you and your child suffered medical negligence leading to avoidable birth injuries and death, then you can reach out to our birth injury solicitors via our help lines for a no obligation chat to discuss your birth injury claims which would be undertaken under our no win no fee policy.

You deserve justice for harm done to you and we encourage you to make use of this opportunity to take appropriate legal actions and get not just the answers you seek but the compensation you deserve.

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