A HOSPITAL trust has been fined £800,000 over the death of a baby girl who died just 23 minutes after birth.
Little Wynter Andrews was “failed in the most cruel way” by staff at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
2Wynter Andrews died in her mum’s arms 23 minutes after she was bornCredit: BPMThe hospital put the newborn at “significant risk of avoidable harm” by being understaffed.
Wynter had been “born in a poor condition with a very slow heart rate” by emergency caesarean section in September 2019.
She died in the arms of her mum and dad just 23 minutes and 30 seconds later despite “extensive efforts” to resuscitate her.
An inquest ruled she suffered a loss of oxygen to the brain, which could have been prevented by staff.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) has now been fined £800,000 after admitting two counts of failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in harm and loss.
It will also pay prosecution costs of £13,668.65 and a victim surcharge of £181.
District judge Grace Leong said: “The catalogue of failings and errors exposed Mrs Andrews and her baby to a significant risk of harm which was avoidable, and such errors ultimately resulted in the death of Wynter and post-traumatic stress for Mrs Andrews and Mr Andrews.
“My assessment is that the level of culpability is high, where offences on Wynter and Mrs Andrews are concerned.
“There were systems in place, but there were so many procedures and practices where guidance was not followed or adhered to or implemented.”
The judge said the “systematic failures” were “more than sufficient” to cause harm to Wynter and her mum Sarah.
But she explained the fine, which could have been unlimited, will have to be paid out of public funds that would otherwise be spent on patient care.
Speaking outside Nottingham Magistrates’ Court alongside the family’s solicitor, Sarah said: “As first-time parents, all we ever wanted was to bring our precious baby home.
“Management at the trust were repeatedly warned by staff about safety at the unit, but they failed to act. They were repeatedly warned by bereaved and harmed families, but they failed to listen and to learn.
“They were repeatedly told by different investigative bodies over many years about maternity safety concerns at the trust, yet they failed to make the critical changes needed.
“We hope that this criminal prosecution against the trust for its unsafe care will finally be the jolt they need to prioritise patient safety and result in meaningful change.”
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court was told Sarah had been admitted to hospital on September 14, 2019 after an “uncomplicated” pregnancy.
After going into labour, doctors decided to perform a caesarean section after Wynter’s heartbeat was described as “suspicious”.
But there were complications in the surgery and the baby was delivered in a “poor” condition.
Wynter died just 23 minutes later following multiple “serious” and “sustained” failings in her care.
The errors had been exacerbated by staff shortages, which led to the midwife caring for her and another a patient on a different ward.
Ryan Donoghue, prosecuting, “the trust “failed to ensure that staff were appropriately aware and trained” in policies concerning the care of expectant mothers and delivering babies.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the maternity unit as inadequate when it was inspected last March.
Anthony May, the trust’s chief executive, said: “We are truly sorry for the pain and grief that we caused Mr and Mrs Andrews due to failings in the maternity care we provided.
“We let them down at what should have been a joyous time in their lives.”
2Mum Sarah said her daughter was failed in the ‘most cruel way’Credit: PA
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk