A couple whose baby was stillborn following a series of blunders by NHS staff have received £2.8million in compensation.
The out-of-court settlement – the largest for a stillbirth clinical negligence case in the UK – was agreed five years after Sarah and Jack Hawkins’ daughter Harriet died.
Six days of labor was endured by Mrs Hawkins as a physiotherapist. However, she was frequently sent home or warned not to go in. Harriet was born nine hours later than she had been declared dead from the birth canal. Both parents were employed at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH), where Bosses blamed Harriet for an infection.
After Mr. and Mrs Hawkins fought for justice, an independent review found that 13 of the mistakes contributed to the tragedy.
The out-of-court settlement – the largest for a stillbirth clinical negligence case in the UK – was agreed five years after Sarah and Jack Hawkins’ (pictured) daughter Harriet died
The traumatized couple had to move to Nottingham, and they are unable to return to work. Probes into the trust – whose two maternity units are rated inadequate – have since revealed that dozens of babies and mothers have died or come to harm under its care.
Yesterday, Mrs Hawkins (36), said that Harriet will never be replaced by money. We wouldn’t have chosen this path if we hadn’t been heard, believed, and listened.
“The victim blaming continues has caused us to suffer severe mental injuries. I am unable and unwilling to return to the NHS or NUH at this time.
‘NUH killed Harriet and destroyed my career, which I had worked so hard for. Hawkins (51) was a consultant at the trust and served as the clinical director for improvements. He said that Harriet’s passing made all the hospital leaders, and also the maternity leadership, very aware they were certain she had to live. They should have apologised, learned everything from us, and treasured Harriet’s existence with better care.
Following Mrs Hawkins’ first contraction, April 12, 2016, she was discharged from Queen’s Medical Centre with painkillers.
On April 12, 2016, Mrs Hawkins experienced her first contraction. She was then sent home by Queen’s Medical Centre with painkillers
After she suffered excruciating pain, she was declared unconscious and admitted to hospital.
On April 16, shortly after midnight she requested an epidural, gas and/or air. However, it wasn’t possible until more advanced labor had occurred. After being admitted, diamorphine was administered to her. However, the patient was not examined. The woman was discharged at 6.30am.
In the early hours on April 17, Mrs Hawkins noticed that her amniotic sac was bulging through her birth canal. However, she was informed that admissions were canceled due to inadequate staffing.
They were instructed to call Nottingham City Hospital. A ‘dismissive midwife’ initially declined to visit the couple. The staff couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat after the couple was finally admitted.
Later, it was discovered that Mrs Hawkins was suffering from a “dysfunctional” labor. This required immediate medical attention.
NUH apologized for its care failures and stated that it has made significant improvements to its maternity suites
Fluid retention caused her to be unable expel urine and prevented the labor from proceeding. In 2018, a ‘root cause investigation report’ was published. It found that there were errors such as delays in foetal monitoring and omissions on antenatal advice sheets. Also, information wasn’t recorded or passed on.
The Hawkins’, Mr. and Mrs., had to leave Harriet for 2 years in a mortuary while the conflict raged. They left Nottingham because they “couldn’t bear” being so close to the hospital.
The couple moved to London in order to have Lottie their daughter.
Janet Baker from Switalskis Solicitors said that Sarah and Jack are now suffering from depression and PTSD, and were unable to work.
Channel 4 News and The Independent conducted an investigation this year and found that 46 infants had brain damage, and 19 stillborn babies in Nottingham between 2010-2020. Also, 15 babies and mothers have died.
NUH apologized for its care failures and stated that it has made significant improvements to its maternity suites.