Nottingham NHS Trust admits failing to care for newborn who died after 23 minutes
An NHS Trust has admitted failures in the care of a baby and her mother after the child died just 23 minutes after being born.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to two counts of being a registered person which failed to provide care and treatment in a safe way resulting in harm or loss over the death of Wynter Sophia Andrews on September 15 2019.
An inquest in 2020 found the infant died from hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy – a loss of oxygen flow to the brain – 23 minutes and 30 seconds after being born, which could have been prevented had staff at the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham delivered her earlier.
Wynter's mother Sarah Andrews said she felt her concerns were dismissed leaving her "desperate, forgotten about, and abandoned."
Ms Andrews was admitted to the QMC on September 14 2019, at nearly 40 weeks pregnant, with Wynter delivered at 2.06pm the next day.
At an inquest in October 2020, assistant coroner Laurinda Bower concluded that Ms Andrews “did not receive the care and attention that she clinically required” and her baby “ought to have been delivered by Caesarean section well before 1406 hours when she was in fact delivered”.
In a preventing future deaths report, Ms Bower said the hospital had “operated in a fundamentally unsafe manner” due to being understaffed, which the inquest found had happened on multiple occasions with staff not having concerns listened to.
An investigation by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates health services in England, ruled staff failed to recognise Ms Andrews was in established and not latent labour, failed to act on high blood pressure readings and carried out four "inaccurate and insufficient handovers" to colleagues as part of a catalogue of errors in the lead up to baby Wynter's death.
Midwives from the Queen's Medical Centre said they were "overworked and understaffed" and told the court they didn't feel able to professionally challenge colleagues.
The death of baby Wynter is just one case out of a number of deaths reported at Nottingham University Hospital's Trust.
The Care Quality Commission announced in July last year that it would prosecute the trust on two counts, one in relation to Wynter and another to her mother, Sarah Andrews, who is attending the hearing with Wynter’s father, Gary.
District Judge Grace Leong told the court that she would hear submissions on Wednesday, before delivering her verdict on Friday.
The hearing continues.