A couple have had to make a compensation claim for a stillborn birth at Warrington Hospital to get answers for why they were deprived a second daughter.
On December 21st 2014, Angela Owens (30) from Chapelford in Warrington was out shopping with her partner Paul Humphreys (31) when she experienced a sudden onset of pain. As Angela was one week and six days overdue with her second child – and due to be induced the following day – she rang the labour ward of Warrington Hospital, who told her to come in right away.
When Angela arrived at the hospital, she explained that she was concerned because the pain she was experiencing was unlike her previous pregnancy. A midwife examined Angela, but as she was only two centimetres dilated, the advice given to her was to go home and take a couple of paracetamol.
Angela refused, and was taken into a room where she asked for pain relief. A nurse told her it was too early for gas and air, and suggested that she got into the birthing pool to relieve the pain. Angela did so, but the pain intensified and Angela had to ask for assistance to get her out – asking the nurse to check on the health of her unborn child.
The previous foetal heartbeat had been recorded when Angela first entered the hospital, but – against the national guidelines for monitoring expectants mothers – no other checks had been performed since. When Angela was assisted out of the pool and place onto a bed, no foetal heart rate could be detected – either manually or by ultrasound. Baby Ella was eventually delivered just after 11.00pm, but her birth was recorded as stillborn.
Angela and Paul claim that if the medical staff at Warrington Hospital had acted on Angela´s concerns – or monitored her baby as regularly as they were supposed to do – there could have been a different outcome. However, as inquests are not held into the deaths of babies who are stillborn, the couple are reliant on the results of an internal investigation into the treatment Angela received at the hospital.
Not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, Angela and Paul have made a claim for a stillborn birth at Warrington Hospital to get the answers to their questions. They hope by engaging a solicitor to act on their behalf, they will find out exactly why medical staff failed to adhere to the national guidelines for monitoring expectant mothers and why they were deprived of a second daughter.
Update: Angela and Paul were one of ten sets of parents whose babies had died stillborn or in “unexpected circumstances” at the Warrington Hospital within a twelve month period. An investigation by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists found that the maternity unit was short-staffed, deaths were avoidable and there was often a breakdown in communication. Angela and Paul´s claim for a stillborn birth at Warrington Hospital is still ongoing.