Grieving parents call for investigation into maternity units at Sussex hospitals | Fieldfisher
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Grieving parents call for investigation into maternity units at Sussex hospitals

Following the deaths of nine babies between 2021 and 2023 at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton and Worthing Hospital, their parents are asking for a public inquiry into the trust that runs them to prevent more fatalities. Four mothers also died at the hospitals run by University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust is currently being investigated by the police following serious allegations of medical negligence around the care of adults in neurosurgery and general surgery between 2015 and 2021. Operation Bamber was launched a year ago after two consultant surgeons reported concerns over standards at the Royal Sussex Hospital.

The parents of babies who died say that 'systemic failures' are not being taken seriously by the trust nor is it learning from past mistakes. Their concern is that more babies will die from similar mistakes if there is not a full inquiry.

Even before these babies deaths were reported, my colleague Arti Shah settled a horrendous case of a baby twin boy who died at two days from catastrophic injuries inflicted by a failed forceps delivery at the Royal Sussex hospital. The baby was then delivered by emergency Caesarean but later died from his injuries in the special baby unit.

More recently, the Royal Sussex County Hospital admitted liability in a wrongful birth claim I pursued on behalf of the parents of twin boys born with Down's Syndrome following the hospital's failure to identify significant defects during antenatal testing.

Our expert sonographer confirmed that during a nuchal translucency scan, neither twin was measured at the widest lucency and the callipers were not properly placed on the upper and lower skin lines. Had the measurements been recorded correctly, referral for further testing would have been recommended.

Both babies will need significant and lifelong care.

If you or your baby have been affected by negligent care at the Royal Sussex County or Worthing hospitals, please contact me for confidential and no-obligation advice.

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