Leeds & West Yorkshire

Pontefract Hospital failings led to boy's stillbirth

Dale Jones and Sam Reid
Image caption Sam Reid said a post-mortem examination of her son found no health problems

A baby was stillborn after a string of hospital failings including broken equipment and his mother being given the wrong drugs.

Sam Reid and her partner Dale Jones took legal action after son Theo's death at Pontefract Hospital.

Ms Reid said equipment to monitor Theo's heartbeat was broken as well as paramedics getting lost, at the West Yorkshire hospital last February.

Mid Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust admitted liability and apologised.

Ms Reid said: "We took the car seat to hospital thinking we're going to come home with a baby in that car seat and we never did.

"That's the hardest part but it shouldn't have happened."

More on this story and others from West Yorkshire

Image caption Ms Reid said she had still not received a personal apology from the trust

Ms Reid's labour was progressing normally but towards the end she said it was clear things had started to go "disastrously wrong" in the midwife-led unit at the hospital, which does not have an emergency department.

She said the phone used by the midwife to alert paramedics to transfer her for emergency care was not properly connected and when an ambulance was finally called it was based 14 miles away.

"It took paramedics 23 minutes to get to me then they got lost in the hospital," she explained.

"I was [also] given the wrong drugs at the wrong time and they never monitored me through my labour."

'Unreserved apology'

A letter from the trust sent to Ms Reid's solicitor Suzanne Munroe states: "The trust accepts that the care that the claimant received was below the level to which she was entitled to expect.

"The trust admits that, but for its failings, the tragic stillbirth of the claimant's baby would have been avoided."

Ms Munroe said: "It's important for Sam that there's an acknowledgement that things should have been done differently."

Gill Pownall, the trust's head of nursing and midwifery, said: "On behalf of the trust I offer them our unreserved apology."

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