Newborn baby who was just seven days old when she died as parents slam NHS trust at centre of baby-death scandal and coroner orders full inquest
- Devastated parents Sarah Robison and Ryan Lock’s baby died after seven days
The NHS has been blasted for ‘systemic failings’ by the parents of a baby who died just seven days following a traumatic birth.
Devastated parents Sarah Robison and Ryan Lock’s baby Ida was born at Royal Lancaster Infirmary in November 2019 but died aged just seven days at Royal Preston Hospital.
Now they fear other families could suffer the same pain.
Despite mistakes made during and after the birth of baby Ida, including failures during resuscitation, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust carried out an internal investigation and deemed there were no care delivery issues.
The family have said they weren’t involved in the investigation and say the trust didn’t notify the coroners’ court despite being advised to do so by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) in April 2020.
Mrs Mills-Morgan, representing Miss Robinson and Mr Lock, said more babies and families could have been impacted over the years due to ‘systemic failings’. Pictured, baby Ida who died at Royal Preston Hospital
Sarah and Ryan asked for support from Anna Mills-Morgan, a clinical negligence specialist and director at Mackenzie Jones Solicitors, based in North Wales and Chester to get answers.
They also contacted Lancashire’s Senior Coroner Dr James Adeley themselves, who has now ordered a full inquest to be held next February after the trust accepted ‘delivery issues’.
Mr Lock said: ‘Anna and the team at Mackenzie Jones have been unbelievable from the day we approached them with our issues.
‘This has been a very difficult journey to deal with, though with Anna’s compassion and diligence, we now have the support we need to find the answers we deserve.’
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust was heavily criticised in a 2015 report prepared by Dr Bill Kirkup, who stated there was ‘major failure at every level’ in maternity and neonatal services’ between 2004 and 2013, following the deaths of 11 babies and one mother.
He made more than 40 recommendations but after further scandals in Shrewsbury, East Kent and Nottingham, Dr Kirkup admitted earlier this year they had failed to ‘stop the recurring cycle of catastrophes’ in NHS maternity units.
At a pre-inquest held in Preston, Dr Adeley said that he could not recall any perinatal deaths having been reported to him and ordered a full and detailed and transparent investigation fully involving the family.
He added: ‘It appears to be an ongoing continuum from matters identified in Kirkup that are again replayed in this case, with distinct similarities. The information I am going to want from the Trust is going to be very extensive.’
Mrs Mills-Morgan, representing Miss Robinson and Mr Lock, said more babies and families could have been impacted over the years due to ‘systemic failings’ at the trust.
She said: ‘The Trust knew there had been failings as early as April 2020 when the HSIB produced their report, and that it was very clear that they should have reported Ida’s case to the coroner, but they didn’t.
‘That is a worry because how many other cases are there out there where the coroner hasn’t been notified?
Pictured, Sarah Robison pictured with baby Ida. They have spoken out against ‘systemic failings’
‘The hospital’s own internal investigation said there had been no problems. We also reported the case to the Care Quality Commission, but they did nothing.
READ MORE: Bereaved families are having to report maternity blunders because watchdogs and hospitals are unable to spot failings, an expert has warned
‘Instead, it was left to Sarah and Ryan to fight to make the Trust accountable for Ida’s death – that is totally wrong.
‘Their case is evidence that little has changed since the Kirkup Report in 2015. What is the point of all these regulatory bodies and reports if they don’t make a difference?’
She added that she believes there are massive gaps in accountability in the NHS.
Tabetha Darmon, Chief Nursing Officer, UHMBT, said: ‘We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to Ida’s family for the tragic loss of their daughter and sister.
‘We fully appreciate that the inquest will be very emotive and difficult to sit through. The Trust will fully support and assist the Coroner’s investigation to ensure the family receive the answers they deserve.
‘The Trust acknowledges that there were care delivery issues in Ida’s care. The fact that she was in difficulty should have been recognised sooner and her birth should have been expedited.
‘The Trust has worked hard to address the learning points highlighted by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report and has also made wider system and process changes for the benefit and safety of our patients since 2019.’
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