Shropshire baby's death preventable, coroner rules

image copyrightKayleigh & Colin Griffiths
image captionPippa Griffiths died at one day old after contracting meningitis from a Group B Strep infection

A one-day-old girl who died from an infection contracted during birth could have survived with earlier intervention, an inquest has heard.

Pippa Griffiths was born at home in Shropshire on 26 April 2016, but died from a Group B Streptococcus infection.

The inquest heard Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust accepted that if it had been spotted earlier it is probable the baby would have survived.

Shropshire coroner John Ellery recorded a narrative verdict.

The inquest heard that at 18:30 BST on 26 April, Pippa's mother Kayleigh Griffiths was concerned about her feeding and called the maternity unit, but was reassured by staff.

Mrs Griffiths said she called again at 02:55 BST on 27 April and mentioned brown mucus. However, midwife Claire Roberts told the hearing she had no recollection of brown mucus being mentioned.

image copyrightKayleigh & Colin Griffiths
image captionKayleigh and Colin Griffiths with their one-day-old daughter Pippa and her sister Brooke

Later that morning, Pippa had a purple rash and stopped breathing. Emergency services managed to get her breathing again, but she later died.

The inquest was told the trust accepts it should have given Pippa's mother a leaflet explaining trigger words so she could have accessed help and accepts a midwife should have returned to see her within 24 hours.

It is also accepts that during the 18:30 phone call, if they had asked the right questions and got the right responses, the baby would have survived at that point.

At 02:55 there was a possibility the baby could have survived if she had gone into hospital.

'Fought for her'

Coroner John Ellery said if Pippa's mother had been given post-birth literature and there had been a complete systematic inquiry, it is more likely than not that signs would have been recognised.

With appropriate care and treatment, her death could have been prevented, he said.

Following the verdict, Mrs Griffiths said: "We've fought for her and fought for the truth and ultimately she could have been saved."

Sarah Jamieson, head of midwifery at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: "We are truly sorry that we were unable to provide the appropriate care that would have prevented Pippa's death.

"We have apologised to Pippa's parents and we repeat that apology again today.

"We know that nothing can make up for the loss of a child. However, we have carried out specific actions to address the issues this tragic case has highlighted to ensure we learn from these devastating events."

Pippa's parents have called for routine testing for the bacteria to be made available on the NHS.

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