Record £2.8m payout for NHS stillbirth errors: Couple whose unborn baby died following series of blunders get huge compensation payout

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  • Record £2.8m payment to Sarah and Jack Hawkins settled out of court
  • Their child Harriet was born dead and the owners of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust blamed an infection
  • But the independent report showed that the tragedy could have been prevented.

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A couple whose baby was born dead after multiple blunders by NHS staff have received £2.8 million in compensation.

An out-of-court settlement – the largest in the UK in a stillbirth clinical negligence case – was agreed five years after the death of Sarah and Jack Hawkins’ daughter Harriet.

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Physiotherapist Mrs Hawkins spent six days in labor but was repeatedly sent home from the hospital or told not to come in. In April 2016, Harriet was finally delivered, nine hours later she was declared dead in the womb. The boss of the Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust, where both parents worked, blamed an infection.

But after Mr and Mrs Hawking’s fight for justice, an independent report identified 13 wrongs that led to the ‘almost certainly preventable’ tragedy.

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The out-of-court settlement – ​​the largest in the UK in a stillbirth clinical negligence case – was agreed five years after the death of Sarah and Jack Hawkins (pictured) daughter Harriet

Both were in such shock that they had to leave Nottingham and neither are able to return to work. Investigations into the trust – whose two maternity units are rated inadequately – have since revealed that dozens of babies and mothers have died or been harmed under their care.

Mrs Hawkins, 36, said yesterday: ‘No money will ever replace Harriet. Nor would we go down this path if we were heard, believed and heard.

‘The continued suffering has left us with significant mental injuries and are currently unable to return to work in the NUH or the NHS.

‘NUH killed my daughter and ruined my favorite career and worked so hard to get.’ Mr Hawkins, 51, the consultant for reform and the trust’s clinical director at the time, said: ‘When Harriet died, obstetricians and hospital leaders knew too soon that we knew she had to survive. needed. Their behavior should have been that of accepting and apologizing, learning everything they can from us and cherishing its existence with the best care.’

On April 12, 2016, after Mrs Hawkins felt her first contractions, she was sent home from Queens Medical Center Hospital with painkillers.

On April 12, 2016, after Mrs Hawkins felt her first contractions, she was sent home from Queens Medical Center Hospital with painkillers.

On April 12, 2016, after Mrs Hawkins felt her first contractions, she was sent home from Queens Medical Center Hospital with painkillers.

She later collapsed from excruciating pain, but was told that her contractions weren’t close enough to be admitted.

She asked to come in for gas and air or an epidural shortly after midnight on April 16, but was told it wouldn’t be available until the birth was more advanced. She was admitted hours later and given diamorphine, but she was not tested and was sent home at 6.30 am.

The amniotic sac began to protrude through Mrs Hawkins’ birth canal in the early hours of April 17, but she was told that entry was blocked due to low staff.

The couple were asked to contact Nottingham City Hospital, where a ‘dismissed’ midwife initially refused to see her. When the couple was finally allowed inside, the staff could not detect the baby’s heartbeat.

It later emerged that Mrs Hawkins was suffering from a ‘dysfunctional’ labour, which required emergency medical attention.

NUH apologizes for failures in care and says it has made improvements to its maternity suit

NUH apologizes for failures in care and says it has made improvements to its maternity suit

She suffered from fluid retention and was unable to pass urine, preventing labor from proceeding. A ‘root cause analysis investigation report’ published in 2018 found errors including delays in implementing fetal monitoring, omissions of critical information on antenatal advice sheets and failure to record or pass on information.

Mr and Mrs Hawkins, who had to leave Harriet at the morgue for two years while the dispute was going on, left Nottingham because they ‘couldn’t bear’ close to the hospital.

They moved to London in November 2019, where they had a daughter, Lottie.

Her attorney for the Svitlaskis solicitors, Janet Baker, said: ‘Sarah and Jack are now suffering from ongoing depression and PTSD and are unable to work.’

An investigation this year by Channel 4 News and The Independent found that between 2010 and 2020, 46 babies had brain damage and 19 were born dead in Nottingham. There have also been 15 deaths of mothers and children.

NUH apologized for the failures in care and said it had made improvements to its maternity suit.

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