Bereaved mother in baby deaths inquiry speaks out

Credit: ITV Wales

A mother has spoken exclusively to ITV News about the trauma of losing her newborn child, after giving birth at one of the hospitals at the centre of a major investigation into the deaths of 26 babies.

Jessica Western gave birth to her daughter Macie at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in March this year. Macie died nineteen days later. Jessica told ITV News she feels more could have been done to save her.

"It was traumatic. I knew straight away something was wrong with her," she said.

At 37 weeks pregnant, and following reduced baby movements, Jessica was admitted to the Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant. Four days later, Macie was born.

"Her dad was by the side of me and the only thing I remember saying to him was 'Joe, there's something wrong with this baby'. My mum was there with me and all I remember telling them was to get this baby away from me because she wasn't breathing. Nine minutes was actually when they took her from me and got her help and the crash team came."

Baby Macie Credit: ITV Wales/Family photo

Less than a month later, and severely brain damaged, Macie died.

"I think nine minutes is a long time for a baby to go with no help. Maybe if they listened straight away that she wasn't well they would have intervened quicker but without actually knowing what actually happened, there's no way of saying."

Macie's family welcomed the Welsh Government's commitment to an independent, external review. They hope it will provide them with answers.

Credit: ITV Wales

The Welsh Government announced the independent external inquiry into the deaths after calls for an urgent review of 43 cases at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant.

The cases include 20 still births and six neonatal deaths, between 1st January 2016 and the end of September 2018, where there was an "adverse outcome" to mothers or their babies.

A spokesperson for Cwm Taf University Health Board said: “Losing a baby is a devastating experience for women and their families. We sincerely sympathise with all those who have experienced such a sad loss.

“We cannot comment on the individual cases but we are reviewing each one in detail to establish that they were appropriately investigated and reported at the time. Once completed the findings will be shared in full with the families involved.

“We have openly shared the information about the review that we are currently undertaking because we want to be transparent and honest with our patients and the public. We do however understand that this will cause anxiety but we want to reassure the women who are, or who have ever been, looked after by us that every safeguard is in place to ensure that we provide the best possible care.”