Parents of baby who died at Tameside hospital feel they have 'justice for Luca'

  • Parents Nicole Ditchfield and Luca Yates gave their reaction to the coroners ruling

The parents of a baby who died at one-day-old say they feel they have "got a piece of justice for Luca" after a coroner ruled his death was caused by neglect and gross failure in treatment.

Luca Yates died at one-day-old following a severe brain injury due to a lack of oxygen at Tameside General Hospital.

Coroner Chris Morris said "cognitive bias" on the part of midwives might have occurred at this stage - meaning Nicole's symptoms did not fit with their sense of what going into labour involved.

Luca Yates died in Tameside Hospital at just one day old. Credit: Family photo

Dad Jack Yates said: “We completely agree with what the coroner said. We finally feel like we’ve got a piece of justice for Luca."

Mum Nicole Ditchfield said she did not believe any single person was at fault.

“I think it would be unfair to say it was one person. It was a lot of what everybody believed to be the correct thing," she said.

"It was scary. It wasn’t what I expected my first baby to be like."

Jack added: “I think it was a system failure. Hopefully expecting mothers presenting themselves at hospital can feel safe and this won’t happen to them.

"If this doesn’t happen again that would be the best outcome for everyone."

Parents Nicole Ditchfield and Jack Yates at Stockport Coroners Court. Credit: ITV Granada

Coroner Morris concluded Luca's death was contributed to by neglect, defining it as "a gross failure to provide basic medical attention".

He said he will be sending a report to prevent future deaths to the President of The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Karen James OBE, Chief Executive of Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT, said: “We express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Nicole and Jack for their loss of baby Luca.

"It is clear from our internal investigation and the independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch [HSIB] investigation, together with the evidence given in court, that there were missed opportunities in the care and treatment of Nicole and Luca.

“As an organisation, we are committed to learning and have made several improvements since Luca’s death in 2022, although we recognise this did not change the outcome for Luca, Nicole and Jack.

"On behalf of the organisation, I would like to express our profound apologies to Nicole, Jack and their families.”