Sussex baby death failings identified in hospital report

Joanna Park
Image caption Ms Park said she wanted to see maternity care standards improved

A hospital has identified failings in the standard of care provided to a mother whose baby was stillborn.

Samuel Dice was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton last September.

Parents Joanna Park and Daniel Dice have lodged a complaint with the hospital about the care they received.

An internal hospital review identified several failings, including overworked midwives and a lack of communication.

Ms Park, from Brighton, was admitted to hospital on 3 September where she told staff she thought she was experiencing reduced baby movements.

Her baby was stillborn the following morning.

The internal report found the hospital failed to adequately act upon her concerns about the reduced movements, nor were they properly documented.

'Deeply sad'

It also found care may have been compromised because the unit was extremely busy with one midwife reporting she felt "out of control".

The report also found the reason for Ms Park's admission was not adequately communicated between staff.

Ms Park said: "I want other mothers to be aware that things can go wrong in labour, to make themselves heard, especially regarding the baby moving.

"We want to see standards improved."

The parents' solicitor, Robert Bell, said: "I think it's fairly common knowledge that you monitor mothers to pick up on signs of foetal distress.

"If Joanna had been monitored, it stands to reason that there would have been an opportunity to diagnose the foetal distress and expedite delivery."

Trust chief executive Duncan Selbie said: "Any stillbirth is deeply sad and our thoughts are with baby Samuel's family.

"These tragedies are incredibly rare and our head of midwifery has met with his parents to offer our condolences and to listen to their concerns."

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