Five Figure Compensation for Stillborn Birth Error

Parents of a stillborn child have received an undisclosed out-of-court five figure compensation payment and an apology from the Worcestershire Royal Hospital following the stillbirth of their son in October, 2009.

Katie Page of Droitwich, Worcestershire, was identified as having a “high risk” pregnancy due to a family medical history of thrombosis, and herself suffering from Factor V Leiden thrombophilia. However, her pregnancy had progressed normally and was only 10 days overdue when she experienced mild contractions during the night and noticed a subsequent reduction in her baby’s movements.

On telephoning the Day Assessment Unit (DAU) at the hospital, she was told to drink ice cold water and contact them in a few hours if she was still concerned. During that afternoon, Katie experienced further contractions and telephoned the hospital again to tell them that she had not felt her baby move for several hours. She was advised not to attend the hospital, but to call back later with an update.

Shortly after midnight on October 7, 2009, Robert Page telephoned the hospital to let them know that his wife was not coping with the pain and requested to come into hospital. At 2.00am, Katie was assessed by a midwife rather than an obstetrician, who listened to the foetal heart and performed a vaginal examination but not a CT scan trace. Katie was sent home again even though an induction had been originally booked for the previous day.

At 9.00am Katie telephoned the DAU again to ask about the inducement of her baby, but was told that no beds were available. Further calls throughout the day proved fruitless and, at 7.00pm, Katie attended the antenatal ward at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital requesting admission. It was not until 9.45pm that she was eventually admitted onto a labour ward.

Further delays occurred in assessing Katie’s condition, and it was not until 11.15pm that a midwife attempted to check the foetal heart rate. When the heart beat could not be found, an obstetric registrar was summoned and ultrasound scans performed which confirmed that Katie and Robert’s son – Harry – had died. Katie was induced the following morning and had to endure a prolonged labour to deliver her stillborn son, some ten hours after his death had already been confirmed.

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust accepted liability.