Essex

Hospital left Essex mother alone to await baby's death

A hospital is to apologise for leaving a mother alone to await the death of her baby who was born at 22 weeks.

Tracy Godwin, 31, thought she had been put in a special room because staff were going to take extra care of her son, who lived for 46 minutes.

Ms Godwin, of Southend, Essex, now wants an inquest into her baby's death.

Southend University Hospital NHS is to carry out an investigation and will apologise to Ms Godwin but meanwhile it has changed guidance for other mothers.

'So small'

Ms Godwin said she was in a great deal of pain and had been given an anaesthetic so was not fully aware of what was happening.

This has made her feel guilty that she had not done enough to save her baby boy, whom she named Tom.

"They put me in a special room and I thought it was because my baby was so small," she said.

"I thought they were going to take extra care of us, not just give me my baby and leave me. They should have prepared me for what was going to happen.

"I want the hospital to change its outlook so this does not happen to another mother.

"Midwives should have given me more information about what would happen."

Jacqueline Trotterdale, chief executive at Southend University Hospital NHS, said an investigation was under way and an apology would be made.

The hospital has also changed its procedures so staff would communicate better with mothers of babies born under 23 weeks.

"I apologise to Ms Godwin and her family because we did not get it right. We follow national guidance not to resuscitate babies born at under 23 weeks and most trusts follow this.

"We need to talk to the mothers and families of these babies to tell them what will happen.

"This has not happened in a systematic way and this is a big gap we are reviewing.

"An investigation is under way into why it has taken so long but now we are responding and will send an apology," she said.

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