Mid and South Essex Hospitals “Dismissing” Pregnant Women’s Concerns

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This week, The Independent reported on a woman who lost her seventh baby in February 2021 after doctors at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust delayed her caesarean section.

Chyril Hutchinson was originally admitted to hospital at 37 weeks pregnant where she was told that because of her high blood pressure, she would require a same-day caesarean. But shortly after, the decision was made that she should be sent home.

Despite her concerns, Chyril was told she would need to wait another two weeks for the C-section to be carried out. It was only days later that a scan showed her baby had sadly died.

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"We are seeing a pattern of racial injustice in maternity care and this case is just one example of that. In my opinion, Montgomery went some way to ceasing the paternalistic approach doctors have towards women in pregnancy and birth, but the problem of racial bias remains unsolved. The charity Birth Rights is supported by my colleagues and I at Simpson Millar and we would urge people to visit their webpage and read their inquiry into racial injustice in maternity care.

"While it is too late for the families my law firm represent in these types of cases, we want to ensure that maternity safety at this Trust and the other Hospital Trusts across the board is improved. We need to see evidence of this and not simply a press release stating this is to be done."

  • "This is a serious failure in the standard of care which should be routinely provided to women in Chyril’s situation and I feel for her and her family. What she has gone through is a tragedy and we should not forget that there are humans and families suffering, not simply statistics to analyse when investigating incidents of this nature."

    Helen Neville

    Medical Negligence Solicitor

Was This an Isolated Incident?

Unfortunately, what happened to Chyril was far from being a one-off incident. A recent investigation revealed that between August 2021 and January 2022, the trust’s three hospitals reported 15 serious incidents within their maternity units. This included birth injuries, stillbirths and medical errors which led to hysterectomy or neonatal death.

One incident during this timeframe involved parents whose baby had died following a caesarean at Broomfield Hospital. Despite the mother being identified as high-risk, the trust has said “staff continued to view her as low-risk”, meaning the baby was not being monitored according to the guidance for managing high-risk women in labour. 

The scale of the improvement that is needed within Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has been highlighted by recent reports from NHS Resolution; in 2020-21, the trust paid out over £25m for medical negligence claims in relation to obstetrics.

While the trust is already rated as requiring improvement by the Care Quality Commission, we hope the stark reality posed by these latest figures serve to emphasise the need for urgent and significant change in the quality of care received by people using the trust’s maternity services.

How can a Clinical Negligence Lawyer Help?

Taking legal action after suffering medical negligence during pregnancy or in childbirth can feel extremely daunting. We offer a free claims assessment where we’ll listen to you and discuss what has happened before letting you know if you’re likely to be successful in claiming compensation.  

If we’re able to take on your case, and you feel comfortable to go forward, you’ll be assigned one of our expert Medical Negligence Solicitors who will carry out a detailed investigation.

You’ll be kept up to date at every stage of your claim and we can tailor our service to your specific needs and wishes. We aim to reduce the stress involved in what can feel like an overwhelming process.

We’ll do everything we can to settle your claim out of Court, pursuing options like mediation to reach the best possible conclusion for you and your family. For initial advice, get in touch with our experienced Medical Negligence team.

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