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Nottingham University Hospitals fined £800,000 over baby's death

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Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has been fined £800,000 over baby's death


Baby Wynter Andrews died at Queen's Medical Centre 23 minutes after her birth due to hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy, which could have been prevented had she been delivered earlier.

Wynter Andrews’ mother Sarah, said she had been "failed in the most cruel way" by the hospital.

An inquest into Wynter’s death heard that Sarah had been admitted into Queen's Medical Centre on 14 September 2019, 6 days after initially experiencing contractions. The maternity unit was "busy" when Sarah arrived, and information on her history was not handed over properly at shift changes.

Sarah was "misdiagnosed" as being in the latent phase of labour, when there were "clear clinical signs" she was in established labour. This meant she did not receive the appropriate level of care required. There were also "missed opportunities" to progress the labour and provide one-to-one care.

The hospital also failed to "provide additional monitoring" of Wynter’s wellbeing, "and to have taken action if that monitoring had shown that baby Wynter was in distress".

Sarah was reviewed the next morning after being admitted, albeit doctors did not address concerns raised by midwives about a possible infection or Wynter’s trace examination.

On 15 September 2019, Wynter was delivered "in poor condition", with the umbilical cord "wrapped tightly around her leg and neck". Efforts to resuscitate her were abandoned 23 minutes later.

Coroner, Laurinda Bower, said "systemic issues" contributed to the neglect of Wynter, and that the unit was so short staffed, midwives were looking after a number of high-risk patients simultaneously. Calling it a "clear and obvious case of neglect", the Coroner said: "If [Wynter] had been delivered earlier, it is likely that her death would have been avoided."

Following the inquest, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) prosecuted the Trust and Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard that a "catalogue of failings" exposed Wynter and her mother Sarah to "a significant risk of harm". 

The Trust pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe care for Wynter, and on Friday 27 January 2023 the Trust was fined £800,000. This is the largest fine handed out to an NHS Trust over maternity care.

During the last inspection of the Trust’s maternity services in 2022, the CQC found that services there remained inadequate, and they were given the lowest rating that the CQC could give.

If you or a loved one has suffered negligence during a pregnancy and/or delivery, we may be able to help you pursue a claim for compensation. Our leading team of experts are available to offer advice. Feel free to get in touch with us for a free no obligation discussion on 0121 355 0011.