Co Down mum to receive 'substantial' damages over alleged failures in care for baby

Christina Campbell, from Ballygowan, sued the Trust over the pre-birth treatment she received at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

A bereaved Co Down mother is to receive “substantial” undisclosed damages to settle legal action over alleged failures in her hospital treatment and the care provided to her baby before her death, it has been announced.

Christina Campbell brought medical negligence lawsuits after her four-month-old daughter Jessica died with a rare genetic disorder.

The claims against the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the Northern Ireland Hospice were resolved on a confidential basis at the High Court in Belfast.

Baby Jessica was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 days after she was born on December 31, 2016.

She had a congenital heart defect, bilateral cleft lip and palate, and experienced feeding and respiratory difficulties.

Jessica was discharged from hospital with a home-based end of life care plan which included community and respite referral to the hospice.

She tragically passed away on 2 May, 2017.

Mrs Campbell, from Ballygowan, sued the Trust over the pre-birth treatment she received at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

It was claimed that a failure to provide her with amniocentesis testing while pregnant meant the diagnosis of Trisomy 13 went undetected.

Lawyers for the family also highlighted concerns about baby Jessica’s hospice treatment, alleging delays in providing a specific feeding plan and saline nebulizer, uncertainty about the provision of humidified oxygen, and the use of a defective feeding pump.

Damages were sought for an alleged ineffective end of life care.

Mrs Campbell’s solicitor confirmed that both cases have been settled on undisclosed terms.

According to Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law, the outcome “provides vindication” for the family.

He said: “Today’s payment of substantial damages, signifies the importance of the lessons learned as a result of her campaign.

“It is hoped that lessons can now be learned to ensure no other family has to go through a similar experience.”

In a statement, Mrs Campbell stressed that no settlement will ever bring back her daughter or compensate for her loss.

“We as a family have suffered immensely throughout this process,” she said.

“I promised Jessica I would be her voice in ensuring the truth was found. Today I can say I have kept my promise to her.”

Mrs Campbell added: “We sincerely hope that as a result of these proceedings, lessons can now be learned and systems put in place, to ensure no family has to go through the horrific and life-changing experience we as a family had to, as a result of avoidable mistakes.”