Leeds & West Yorkshire

Parents' anger at birth delay death at Dewsbury hospital

The parents of a baby who died after his delivery was delayed at a West Yorkshire hospital have attacked procedures put in place by management.

Sarah Dawson and her partner Philip Schofield had a 61-hour wait before their son was born by caesarean section at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

A coroner ruled the delay was largely to blame for the baby's death and made recommendations to the hospital.

The hospital said it had "learned" from baby Oliver's death.

An inquest in Bradford this week heard how Ms Dawson was taken into hospital after her waters broke on 12 July 2010.

Their son Oliver was born by caesarean section 61 hours later but died after 42 minutes due to an infection he developed during that period.

The inquest heard how a series of factors contributed to the delay including a policy of first leaving mothers for 24 hours to see if natural birth will happen.

This was followed by another wait because of a policy that avoids assisted births at night.

Further problems then arose with staff and equipment not being available.

The coroner recorded a narrative verdict and said he would be writing to Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to outline his concern.

'Guidelines to blame'

Ms Dawson, 34, from Morley, Leeds, said: "I blame the trust and the bosses at the hospital.

"It is nothing to do with the midwives that took care of us because they were really good.

"Unfortunately they were governed by guidelines that they have at Dewsbury Hospital so it's whoever has put those guidelines in place that who are ultimately to blame."

She added: "It's ok apologising but it's not going to bring him back."

Mr Schofield said: "You wake up in the morning and for a split second everything seems ok and then it comes back to you what's happened."

The couple are now demanding action is taken to prevent a similar tragedy.

In a statement, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We undertook an investigation into the management of Ms Dawson's labour and have taken a number of actions to learn from what has happened.

"We will now review the coroner's recommendation and take any further action necessary."

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