Ms Carter suffered a late miscarriage in 2011. She was told that this was due to cervical insufficiency and that, in future pregnancies, she would require insertion of a cervical cerclage at 12 weeks gestation to minimise the risk of a miscarriage or pre-term delivery.
Some years later, Ms Carter fell pregnant again. She booked her pregnancy at University Hospital Lewisham. During her pregnancy booking appointment, and at all subsequent appointments, she mentioned her previous miscarriage and the advice that she have a cervical cerclage inserted. Despite this, no such action was taken. Instead, she was told that this was not required.
Ms Carter underwent regular ultrasound scans in the early stages of pregnancy which showed her cervix length to be shortening. At 17 weeks gestation, a further scan showed a significant shortening of her cervix. An emergency cervical cerclage was inserted later that day, some five weeks after it should have been inserted.
Despite the above, Ms Carter's cervix continued to shorten. She was admitted to hospital for three weeks and was placed on bed rest to try and minimise the risk of a pre-term delivery. Unfortunately, she went into labour early and her daughter was born prematurely at just 23 weeks gestation. Tragically, the baby died just one hour after birth.
Ms Carter was understandably very upset and angry at the loss of her daughter, and particularly the hospital's failure to listen to her requests for a cervical cerclage to be inserted. She suffered from depression in the months after this and spent a lot of time ruminating about what could have been done differently. She found it particularly upsetting speaking to friends who had also had children at a similar time to her, as it reminded her of the milestones her daughter would have reached if she had received better treatment.
Ms Carter instructed Jamie Green to investigate her claim. He instructed an Obstetrician who was critical of the failure to insert a cervical cerclage between 12 and 14 weeks gestation. With such treatment, Ms Carter's pregnancy would have likely been successful. Jamie wrote to the Trust and was able to secure an early admission of liability. He was then able to calculate the value of Ms Carter's claim and negotiate a settlement without the need to begin formal Court proceedings.
Following settlement, Ms Carter said:
"I was introduced to Fieldfisher by a very good friend and I am now eternally in her debt. I wanted answers, justice and closure for my daughter but had no idea where to start.
"Jamie has been a lifeline. From the moment he took on my case he has been honest, transparent and straight to the point. He kept me informed and throughout the process showed unwavering patience to ensure I understood everything that was happening. Any queries I had were always clarified in a heartbeat.
"So many people had told me to leave the case behind me, that I had two children now and not to dwell on the past. But when the door is still open it is just not that easy. I can now smile and say that I have truly created a legacy for my daughter and closure for myself. I will be encouraging others in a similar situation to take the same steps I have with Fieldfisher."
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