Mark Bowman was instructed by Harriet following the death of her only child, Emmeline, on 12 August 2013 at only 8 days of age.
Harriet gave birth to baby Emmeline at 19:39 on 04 August 2013 at Whipps Cross Hospital. Due to catastrophic failings during her pregnancy and in the lead up to baby Emmeline's birth, she sadly died at only 8 days old. Instructions were received to investigate a potential claim against Whipps Cross Hospital and reports were obtained from experts in the fields of midwifery, obstetrics and neonatology.
Following receipt of her medical records and upon advice of the experts instructed, it was alleged that on 11 July 2013 the midwives responsible for Harriet's care failed to refer her for obstetric review in spite of the fact that the fundal height was measured at 4cm less than gestation, an early warning sign that Emmeline was not developing appropriately and therefore required close monitoring. At subsequent midwifery appointments further fundal measurements were not undertaken, which meant further opportunities to refer Harriet to the obstetric team for treatment and observation were missed.
In addition to these significant failings during the antenatal period, upon admission to hospital on 04 August 2013, the midwifery team were alleged to have made further catastrophic errors. In particular it was alleged that there was a failure to recognise the presence of fetal heart decelerations on the CTG trace and to call for obstetric review. Furthermore, rather than reviewing the CTG trace to check for any further abnormalities, the midwife left Harriet alone for 45 minutes during which time there were further deteriorations in baby Emmeline's condition. Upon transferring Harriet's care to another midwife, the first midwife failed to report that there had been any fetal heart abnormalities meaning the second midwife was not alerted to ongoing potential problems. Thereafter the second midwife failed to obtain a reading of the fetal heart rate and failed to refer Harriet to the obstetric team for immediate delivery.
It was alleged that with competent care additional growth scans would have taken place during the antenatal period, which would have led to continuous fetal heart rate monitoring on the onset of active labour, which if competently interpreted would have led to Emmeline being born earlier than was the case. Emmeline was in fact born at 19:39 on 04 August 2013. It was alleged that birth at any time prior to 19:23 on 04 August 2013 would have led to Emmeline being born alive and uninjured.
Within their Letter of Response, Barts Health NHS Trust, the NHS Trust responsible for the treatment provided at Whipps Cross Hospital, admitted that there should have been measurements made of the fundal height in the ante-natal period and that Harriet should have been referred for obstetric review. It was further admitted that with appropriate care, electronic fetal heart rate monitoring or ultrasound would have taken place during labour and the fetal distress, brain injury and death of baby Emeline would have been avoided.
Following receipt of the Letter of Response, attempts were made to quantify the claim. Though no amount of money can ever compensate a mother for the loss of her child, Harriet was entitled to receive the statutory bereavement award of £12,980 as well as an award for the psychological injuries she sustained as a result of the circumstances of Emmeline's birth and death.
At the end of the claim Harriet commented
"Steve and I were undecided as to whether to take legal action against Whipps Cross Hospital where Emmeline was born but following a recommendation, we met with Mark Bowman of Fieldfisher and from the start felt very comfortable with his approach. From the investigations that followed our daughter
About Mark Bowman
If you or your loved one has suffered at the hands of a medical clinician, or hand received a substandard level of care and would like to talk about making a claim, call Mark Bowman on:
- T: 020 7861 4043
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can speak to our medical negligence solicitors on Freephone 0800 358 3848
- e-Mail them at email@example.com
- Complete their short enquiry form
All enquiries are completely free of charge and they will investigate all funding options for you including no win, no fee.
Contact us on freephone 0800 358 3848
Or start your claim online.
"The group is praised for its commitment to 'demystifying the legal process' while this is a firm for which the client has always been a priority"
Charities we support
Personal injury team celebrates social hub for amputees and their families
Fieldfisher hosted the first informal central London meeting hub organised for amputees and their families in association with the Limbless Association (LA)
Further criticism of sub-standard care at Basildon Hospital following death of new-born
At the inquest into the death of a baby boy at Basildon Hospital last year, the coroner concluded that serious failings by staff contributed to the baby's death at one day old.
Jane Weakley welcomes CYRIL technology to test new-borns at risk of cerebral palsy
Researchers at University College London (UCL) have developed a non-invasive monitoring system, small enough to take into neonatal intensive care units, which shines infrared light into new-born babies' brains to detect possible brain damage within a few hours of birth.
Claire Horton comments on Countess of Chester hospital nurse arrest
Claire Horton comments on the distressing case of Lucy Letby, the nurse accused of murdering and attempting to murder babies and infants in the neo-natal unit of the Countess of Chester hospital between 2015 and 2016.
Simple scan to identify breech babies supported by partner Jane Weakley and senior midwife Charlene Francois
Proposals for coroners to investigate late-term stillbirths would provide relief to grieving families