Hospital admits failures led to baby death | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Hospital admits failures led to baby death

Emma Kendall has secured a settlement and full admission of liability in the case of a mother whose baby was tragically stillborn at nearly 42 weeks.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust has accepted that the baby would have survived if it were not for the failures in the mother's antenatal care. 

Nikki* told staff at Wrexham Park Hospital that she could not feel her baby moving on at least three separate occasions, the first at around 37 weeks, but her fears were dismissed. 

Once her due date passed, Nikki and her husband made several visits to the hospital asking to be induced but each time were sent home and told to wait for spontaneous labour. An induction was finally booked when she was 12 days overdue, but when she tried to attend the appointment she was told no beds were available. 

At this point Nikki should have should have been admitted for monitoring and an obstetric review after repeatedly telling staff about the reduced movement. But due to over-crowding on the maternity unit she was sent home. 

When Nikki did go into labour the following morning, she went back to the hospital but was again sent home, despite monitoring showing that the baby's heartbeat was low. Midwives told her that he was "probably sleeping". 

She spent the day at home in labour, growing increasingly worried that she could not feel her baby moving and the couple went back to the hospital that evening. They were forced to wait before being taken into side room and told that their baby had no heartbeat. One consultant said to the couple: "You came too late, your baby died." 

Nikki was then refused a c-section by a consultant who insisted she deliver her stillborn child vaginally. This decision was reversed by a second doctor who came on shift the following day. In the weeks after, Nikki contracted an infection of the c-section wound having been wrongly told that the stitches were dissolvable. 

Both Nikki and her husband have been extremely traumatised by the ordeal. Nikki suffered physical and psychological injury and had panic attacks, flashbacks and cannot sleep.

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust refused to make an early admission of liability despite a very critical investigation conducted by the Health Services Safety Investigation Body (HSIB). Following independent expert evidence, The Trust accepted responsibility for the death of Nikki's unborn child and apologised for its errors. 

Representatives of the Trust admits that but for the failures in her care Nikki's baby "would have been born alive and the very tragic death avoided."

Emma has secured a settlement for Nikki that acknowledges the pain and suffering of losing a baby and will fund critical psychotherapy to help the couple rebuild their lives after the tragedy. 

Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust said: "A clearer discussion should have been had regarding the risks of reduced fetal movements and Nikki should have been admitted for further monitoring and induction of labour. 

"The Trust would like to sincerely apologise for this failing. Had this taken place, it is accepted that Nikki's baby would have been born alive and the very tragic death avoided. The Trust would like to sincerely apologise again and offers its condolences to [the couple]."

Counsel on the case was Jo Moore of One Crown Office Row. Nikki and her husband thanked Emma and the team for "being so kind and empathetic." 

They said: "We cannot thank you enough for all your effort on this. You really are doing god's work and helping so many people. Emma you have truly been amazing. We couldn’t have asked for someone so supportive and helpful."

* name changed 

Contact us

For further information about stillbirth claims or birth injury claims please call Emma Kendall on 0330 460 6755 or email


All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win no fee.

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