18th June 2019 – Our client, Ms T, brought a clinical negligence claim as a result of the substandard treatment that she received during the delivery of her first child at the Darent Valley Hospital, near Dartford, Kent on 23.06.2016.
In essence, the hospital failed to escalate the delivery of the client’s baby in a timely and appropriate manner.
A CTG trace showing baby’s heart rate was non – reassuring and this should have resulted in delivery by Caesarean Section at a much earlier stage of the labour.
Instead Ms T suffered a prolonged delay in the delivery of her child culminating in a traumatic birth.
She developed PTSD in consequence.
Expert evidence was obtained from a Consultant Psychiatrist in support of the nature, extent and duration of the psychiatric injury.
A Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant Trust (Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust) who managed and controlled the Darent Valley Hospital in May 2018.
In response, the Defendant denied breach of duty and defended the claim.
Although admissions were made that Syntocinon should have been commenced earlier, they stated that it would not have impacted on the outcome or made any difference in any event.
We sought to rely upon an internal Root Cause Analysis (RCA) investigation carried out by the Defendant Trust which was extremely critical of the Defendant’s standard of care to the Claimant.
The RCA report made it clear that there was a failure to have the Claimant reviewed by an Obstetric Consultant resulting in a lack of escalation and delay in delivery.
The RCA was also stated that commencing the Syntocinon earlier would have brought forward the decision for a C Section by 3 and half hours.
This would also likely have resulted in a diagnosis of obstructed labour and expedited delivery avoiding the foetal head becoming so deeply impacted and therefore making delivery of the baby easier.
A strong rebuttal letter was sent to the Defendants in support of the Claimant’s case, together with an offer of £20,000 in full and final settlement.
The Defendant’s response was to reject that offer and put forward a counter offer of £7,500.
After a lot of negotiations, settlement was achieved just prior to issuing proceedings in the sum of £15,000.
Kate Kennell, Senior Solicitor who had conduct of the claim commented as follows; ‘The circumstances of the claim were particularly difficult for the client having had an extremely traumatic delivery of her first child. It should have been a happy time of joy and instead was very stressful and prolonged. This left a lasting memory on her. I am pleased that the litigation is now resolved for my client and wish her well in moving on from these events.’