18th Oct, 2017

Parents of still-born baby speak of devastation after Coventry's University Hospital admits mistakes

Coventry Editorial 16th Nov, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE devastated parents of a baby delivered stillborn have spoken of their heartache after Coventry’s University Hospital admitted failures.

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust has accepted it had failed to adequately monitor her heart rate.

Zoe Andrews, from Longford, in Coventry and her partner Craig Hands say they will never be able to get over the trauma of losing their daughter Evie on July 1, 2011.

The couple has now secured an undisclosed out-of-court settlement from UHCW.

Zoe, aged 18, had a normal pregnancy and she and Craig were looking forward to becoming parents for the first time.

On June 29, Zoe was 32 weeks gestation and was seen by her community midwife who detected an ‘irregular’ heartbeat and referred her to the hospital for close monitoring.

However, the midwife at University Hospital thought the heartbeat was normal, despite long periods of not being able to detect it. Zoe was discharged and went home.

The following morning Zoe could not feel her baby moving and became increasingly concerned as she was usually very active.

She drank ice water and ate ice lollies to try and stir the baby, but nothing worked.

Zoe went back to the hospital that evening and was told her baby had died, and that she would have to be induced to deliver Evie.

Zoe, who used to work as an events co-ordinator, said: “Craig and I were left completely traumatised by Evie’s death.

“We are still struggling to come to terms with losing her even now. We were really excited.. we couldn’t wait to meet her.

“I was absolutely shocked at the complete lack of respect the nurses showed Evie and myself after she was born. It stills haunts me to this day, seeing them hold and clean my daughter in a bucket just after she was delivered – it was disgraceful.

“Since losing Evie, our lives have been turned upside down and I continue to struggle to come to terms with losing her.

“I was unable to return to my job which I loved. I used to be very bubbly and outgoing but I know feel like a completely different person.

“We are relieved that we were able to find some answers as to what went wrong whilst I was treated at University Hospital.

“I am pleased that the Trust admitted failings which led to Evie’s death and even though nothing will ever bring back our daughter, Craig and I can now focus on our children and rebuilding our lives.”

Sara Burns, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at the couple’s lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, said: “There were a number of errors made by maternity staff at the hospital including failing to monitor Evie’s heart rate and act upon basic signs which highlighted things were not right which ultimately led to Evie being stillborn.”

Meghana Pandit, chief medical officer and deputy chief executive officer at UHCW NHS Trust said: “We apologise unreservedly to Ms Andrews and would like to offer our sincere condolences to her.

“Although nothing will be able to make it right, we hope by settling this matter it will reduce the ongoing distress to Ms Andrews and her family.”

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