Derbyshire mum calls for lessons to be learned after death of baby at Chesterfield Royal Hospital

A mum is calling for lessons to be learned after Chesterfield Royal Hospital admitted ‘shortcomings’ in care that led to the death of her baby.

Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 9:52 am

Natalie Holland’s son Brody died from an from infection just 18 hours after he was born at the Calow hospital.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has said it is ‘sincerely sorry for the events surrounding Brody’s care’.

Natalie said: “Brody was my fifth child so I felt like I could tell when something wasn’t right, and I knew when he started grunting that something was wrong.

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Chesterfield Royal Hospital has apologised after Brody's death.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital has apologised after Brody's death.

“Not for a second did I ever think I would lose him though, and being told that he had died was absolutely devastating.

“My children mean the world to me and not a day goes by when I don’t think of Brody and how I’ll never see him grow up or mark the milestones that the others have.

“It makes me so upset to think things could have turned out differently had I been treated with antibiotics, and all I want is to wind back the clock. I know that’s not possible though, so all I can hope for now is that something can be learned from my loss so others don’t have to go through what I have.”

Natalie, 31, was 38 weeks into her fifth pregnancy when she attended the hospital for an induction of labour in October 2019.

This was planned as she was deemed high risk due to one of her other children being treated for Group B Strepococcus infection shortly after birth.

The baby began showing signs of distress and was delivered by emergency caesarean section.

Almost 11 hours later, baby Brody was noted to have breathing difficulties and was referred to a doctor.

Over the next few hours, Brody’s condition deteriorated and he died around 18-and-a-half hours after birth.

A post mortem examination confirmed the cause of death to be early onset sepsis and Group B Streptococcus.

Group B Strep is the most common cause of infection in newborns but can be fatal for babies if it’s transmitted in the birth canal.

Following her son’s death, Natalie, from Creswell, asked lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their care.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has acknowledged ‘shortcomings in the standard of care provided’.

These included a failure to ensure a process was in place to make staff aware that Brody needed further monitoring.

The trust further accepted that, on the balance of probabilities, had Natalie been treated with antibiotics for Group B Strep during labour, Brody ‘would have survived’.

A trust spokesperson said: “A number of improvements have been made to raise awareness of Group B Strep, including strengthening the paediatric care pathway for babies and pregnancies where the development of GBS has been identified as ‘at risk’.

"This means that alerts are put in place much earlier in the pregnancy to make sure that it features as part of the overall plan and care of mother and baby.

“We know that none of this will compensate for the loss of Brody, but would welcome the opportunity to speak to Natalie about some of the changes we have made to reassure her and her family about what we have done to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

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