1. ITV Report

Natural births encouraged for cost reasons, says mother as coroner raises concerns over access to Caesarean sections

  • Video report by ITV News reporter Sejal Karia.

A mother whose newborn son suffered fatal brain damage during a "prolonged" delivery believes women are encouraged to give birth naturally for cost reasons.

Kristian Jaworski died five days after being delivered naturally at North Middlesex University Hospital following complications during birth.

His mother, Tracey Taylor, believes issues during the birth of her first son were not highlighted when she delivered for the second time.

She also claims the hospital concealed information about Kristian's deteriorating condition during delivery and was not offered the option of a Caesarean section.

While accepting liability for Kristian's death, the hospital maintained cost was not a consideration during his birth.

On Friday, a coroner investigating Kristian's death warned the NHS that favouring vaginal births over Caesarean sections because of their cost risks future deaths.

Kristian Jaworski died five days after being born Credit: Tracey Taylor

"I've never been frightened to give birth, it was never the case - if I was too frightened to give birth I wouldn't have got pregnant again", Ms Taylor said.

"I just don't feel that I was listened to, at all.

"And then I think the wider issue is that they encourage women to trial natural delivery based on cost, and that did come out at the inquest.

The hospital accepted liability for Kristian's death Credit: PA

Speaking to ITV News, Ms Taylor said the problems she experienced giving birth to her first son Sebastian were not highlighted to doctors, and that hospital staff treated her "like an anxious woman".

She added: "They didn't tell us there was anything wrong with Kristian.

"I didn't know that his heart rate had dropped and he was having decelerations - I only found this later on in the process leading up to the inquest".

Ms Taylor believes staff did not show signs of "urgency" whilst treating her.

The hospital has now drawn up new guidance on instrumental delivery and taken steps to ensure a mother's concerns over delivery are recorded in her notes.

Dr Cathy Cale, the hospital's director of medicine, said: "Our team took their decision to continue with the natural delivery in this case for clinical reasons alone and would have had no concerns about intervening surgically had they believed this risk was warranted.

"There was and never is any question of cost being a consideration", she said.

The Department of Health said it had received the report and will respond "in due course".

Treatment decisions in maternity care should always be made by clinicians in full consultation with women.

These should be based on a woman’s individual clinical needs and in line with NICE guidelines in terms of best practice.

It is vital that we learn from tragedies like this to ensure they are not repeated and far fewer families have to experience this kind of heartache.

– Ben Gummer, health minister