Parents whose baby died in labour after mistakes by hospital staff receive £2.8m from NHS trust

'We're still here nearly six years later and babies are still dying,' Sarah Hawkins tells ITV News Central

The parents of a baby who died in labour after mistakes by maternity staff in Nottingham have received a £2.8m settlement.

Jack and Sarah Hawkins' daughter, Harriet, was stillborn at Nottingham City Hospital after a six day labour in April 2016. 

The settlement is believed to be the largest payout for a stillbirth clinical negligence case, solicitors representing the Hawkins family have said.

Speaking to ITV News Central Health Correspondent Nancy Cole, Mrs Hawkins said: "They killed my daughter, they ruined my career and they've devastated our lives."

Mrs Hawkins was almost 41 weeks pregnant when Harriet was delivered, almost nine hours after dying.

The couple were first told their child had died of an infection but refused to accept this and launched their own investigation.

A candle has bit lit in front of a photograph of baby Harriet's feet Credit: ITV Central

Hospital bosses initially found "no obvious fault", but an external inquiry in 2018 identified 13 "significant" failings in care.

The inquiry found Harriet's death was "almost certainly preventable".

Some of the failings identified in the report from 2018 include:

  • Failure to take a full clinical history and therefore failure to see full picture

  • Delay in applying appropriate foetal monitoring

  • Delay in administration of epidural

  • Misinterpretation of the post mortem findings and failure to make appropriate clinic-pathological correlation.

The couple, who both worked for the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust which has paid them compensation, hope that by sharing their experiences other patients who have been through similar experiences will come forward.

Sarah Hawkins said the failings from hospital staff have devastated her life Credit: ITV Central

Mrs Hawkins said: "I think it's an ongoing thing that you know.

"After every time we speak to the media, someone will come forward to us, someone will reach out to us and say what do we do, the trust aren't listening.

"Changes aren't happening.

"In 2016, we told them and we're still here nearly six years later and babies are still dying."

NHS England and the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are investigating whether the Trust kept serious mistakes on its maternity wards hidden from health bosses and there are calls for the government to carry out a full public inquiry.

A spokesperson at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, said: "We would like to reiterate our sincere apologies to Mr and Mrs Hawkins for failures in the care around the delivery of baby Harriet. 

"Our Maternity Improvement Programme has introduced a number of improvements including better training and monitoring with renewed focus on the recruitment and retention of midwives and maternity teams to ensure that we offer the best services possible to every family in our care."