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Hull NHS 'failings' blamed for death of baby

Kirsty Hicks and Joshua
Image caption Joshua died just 17 hours after his birth at the Hull Women and Children's Hospital

Staff at a Hull maternity unit have been criticised for "serious failings" that led to a newborn baby's death.

Kirsty and Paul Hicks's son Joshua died at Hull Women and Children's Hospital 17 hours after a birth described by a medical expert as "grossly mismanaged".

The expert who reviewed the case found there had been delays in detecting Joshua's abnormal heart rate.

The couple have received an apology and an undisclosed settlement from the NHS after a claim of clinical negligence.

Mrs Hicks told BBC News she was still traumatised by the death of her son on 15 November 2006.

He was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck but staff failed to continuously monitor his heart rate, despite signs it was slowing. He later suffered a cardiac arrest.

"I have always got these questions," said Mrs Hicks. "What if I lived in a different area? He would probably still be here.

"If I had gone into labour at a different time of day, with different staff on, he would still be here.

"I've got my girls now and they help but he should be here. You never get over it."

Phil Morley, chief executive of Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "When the health service gets it right, we do a fantastic job. There is no doubt we save countless lives every single day.

"But when we get it wrong, it is individuals and their families who pay the price for failings in the way we deliver our care.

"In this case, there are no excuses for the serious failings that occurred.

"I offer the family my absolute unreserved apologies for their heartache, the distress that this has caused, their sense of not being listened to and their sorrow of not being appreciated.

"I will be happy to meet Mr and Mrs Hicks if it will improve the care we offer other families in the future, and to personally apologise for the failings."

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