Beds, Herts & Bucks

Woman left in Milton Keynes hospital in 'soiled state'

A woman was left in a "severely soiled state" for two hours after giving birth at a hospital criticised for a shortage of midwives, an inquest has heard.

Lorna Howell, 20, gave birth to her brain-damaged son Alex Broughton on a ward at Milton Keynes General Hospital in December 2009, but he later died.

Ms Howell's partner Matthew Broughton, from the Milton Keynes area, said she was left in a "horrible state".

The hospital said the complaint would be looked into.

Mr Broughton, 20, told the inquest in Milton Keynes: "Lorna was left in a severely-soiled state in a ward for about two hours with just me by her side after being moved from the birthing pool."

'Computer error'

Coroner Thomas Osborne heard that the couple's son died at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, on 3 December 2009 - a day after being born in a birthing pool at Milton Keynes Hospital.

Elizabeth Allen, head of midwifery at the hospital, told the inquest that she would look into the complaint.

On Tuesday, a senior nurse apologised after the hearing was told the couple received a hospital "birth congratulations" letter on the day Alex died.

The letter was generated by a computer and sent by mistake, the coroner was told.

The hospital has been criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for a lack of midwives, following investigations into the death of two babies - in June 2007 and May 2009.

In January this year the CQC said it must employ more permanent midwives and open more maternity beds.

The hospital said it did provide safe and quality maternity services.

An expert team was being sent in to improve the failing maternity unit run by Milton Keynes.

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