Gloucestershire NHS accepts liability for baby's death

Published
Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Baby Margot Frances Bowtell with parents Craig Bowtell and Laura Harvey

An NHS Foundation Trust has accepted liability for the death of a new-born baby after "failures in care".

Margot Frances Bowtell died three days after her delivery at a midwife-run NHS centre in Cheltenham on 17 May 2020.

The baby's mother, who is campaigning for greater awareness, said the loss of her daughter was "devastating".

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust trust said it would "ensure that all possible lessons are learnt from Margot's tragic death".

Margot died of a hypoxic brain injury, which is believed to have been avoidable.

The Trust admitted that the observations noted during labour should have led to a referral to the obstetric team and that failure to do so was a breach of duty.

Margot's mother, Laura Harvey, 34, said: "Saying goodbye to our beautiful baby girl is the hardest thing I have ever had to do and knowing it could have been prevented is even harder to live with."

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Margot Frances Bowtell died three days after being born in Cheltenham

Ms Harvey wants to raise awareness to help ensure similar midwifery failures do not cause other families the same grief.

She said: "I want to make sure the Gloucestershire Trust implement all the safety recommendations that our investigation unearthed and help prevent the devastating loss of another baby."

Sarah Stocker, associate solicitor at Tees Law, who represented Ms Harvey, said: "The devastated family are relieved, at least, that the trust has now finally admitted liability."

"Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust could have averted this tragic outcome if warning signs during pregnancy and labour had been recognised and properly acted upon."

Prof Mark Pietroni, acting chief executive of the trust, said: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of baby Margot, our thoughts and condolences remain with the family.

"The trust acknowledges that there were failures in care, which were fully and independently investigated by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB)."

"We have fully accepted and implemented the safety recommendations made by the HSIB in their report."

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