Our client, a 48 year old woman from Ashford, Kent, became pregnant with her second child and was treated by the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.
There were no particular concerns during the antenatal period, but on 15.03.11 (at 36+6 weeks) she attended at hospital complaining of reduced foetal movements in the previous two weeks.
The Consultant was with a student, and it was the student who listened to the foetal heart rate on this occasion. No problems were identified and no further tests were performed. The Consultant incorrectly entered in the records that our client reported more than 10 movements per day, and failed to record our client’s complaint of reduced foetal movements (although in subsequent correspondence she did accept that this had been reported to her).
Having not felt any foetal movements since the evening of 15.03.11, our client re-attended hospital on 16.03.11. No heart beat could be found, and our client was informed that her son had died. She was then required to deliver her son by C-section.
Expert obstetric evidence confirmed that a CTG should have been performed on 15.03.11, that it would likely have been non-reassuring which would have mandated further testing, and that on repeat testing later in the day it would have shown foetal distress resulting in delivery by C-section and a live birth.
As a consequence of these events, our client suffered a moderately severe PTSD injury, requiring a course of psychotherapy treatment.
Despite having a very clear claim against the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust on both breach of duty and causation, and despite a reasonable offer of £55,000 having been made, the Trust failed to admit the claim and forced Court proceedings to be issued in order to pursue the claim further.
However, on approaching the deadline for exchange of witness statements, the Defendant suddenly made an offer to settle the claim for £30,000. After brief negotiations, settlement was achieved in the sum of £50,000.
Alex Tengroth, who had conduct of the claim, said “It is clear from the Defendant’s actions, following the issue of Court proceedings, that they didn’t have any good evidence in support of their denial of liability, such that their stance served only to increase the suffering of my client, wholly unnecessarily, following the traumatic loss of her son.”
Our client said “This has been a roller coaster of emotions for me and my family, but I do feel now that some justice has been done. I hope that having highlighted what happened to me and my family, the Trust does its best to make sure that this never happens to anyone else.”