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Leicester hospitals admit failings over death of baby Delilah Hubbard

Published 12/11/2015

Clara Bassford and Mark Hubbard with their daughter Delilah who died at two days old, as an NHS trust admitted failings which led to her death (Family handout/PA)
Clara Bassford and Mark Hubbard with their daughter Delilah who died at two days old, as an NHS trust admitted failings which led to her death (Family handout/PA)
Delilah Hubbard died at just two days old (Family handout/PA)
Baby Delilah Hubbard died at Leicester Royal Infirmary in March this year, two days after she was born

The parents of a baby girl who died at just two days old have said they are "still coming to terms" with the loss after an NHS trust admitted failings which led to her death.

Delilah Hubbard had no heartbeat and needed to be resuscitated shortly after being born at Leicester General Hospital on March 7 this year.

She was transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary and put on a ventilator but died two days later.

The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has now written to her mother, Clara Bassford, of Coalville, Leicestershire, admitting liability for the death.

They said Ms Bassford should have been given a caesarean section sooner than she was, and if doctors had acted then baby Delilah would have survived.

Ms Bassford, 25, said: "I am still trying to come to terms with losing my little girl and now to find out that there were a number of failings by the staff caring for me and Delilah and that this could have been prevented is heartbreaking."

She visited Leicester General Hospital for a routine check-up on March 6 when she was 32 weeks pregnant.

During the visit, her waters broke and she was admitted to a ward and kept in to be monitored overnight.

The following morning, she noticed that she had a small bleed and that her baby was not moving. She told hospital midwives, but had to wait before they examined her.

A monitor was then attached to Ms Bassford to track Delilah's heart rate, but it was positioned incorrectly, meaning staff could not get accurate readings for an hour and 40 minutes.

It was only when the monitor was attached correctly that nursing staff realised Delilah's heart rate was unusually high with periods when it dropped very low - a sign that she was in distress.

It was then a number of hours before Delilah was delivered. After being transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary, s he was placed on a ventilator to help her breathe, but nothing could be done to save her.

Now Ms Bassford and her partner, Mark Hubbard, 27, have received an admission of liability from the trust for failings in the care they received.

Ms Bassford, whose pregnancy was classed as high-risk owing to her having ulcerative colitis, said: "I feel that there were several points when action should have been taken to ensure the safety of both Delilah and me.

"Both of my other children were born prematurely and this did not seem to be taken into account by any of the staff.

"They did not seem to be concerned by the dips in Delilah's heartbeat and there did not seem to be any urgency in taking me down for a caesarean section.

"I hope that no other family has to go through what we have been through."

Anne Brundell, of lawyers Irwin Mitchell who represented the family, said: "Clara and Mark have been through a traumatic ordeal and they have both been left devastated after losing Delilah."

An inquest into Delilah's death will be held next year.

Joan Morrissey, midwifery matron at Leicester's Hospitals said: "In light of the mistakes that were made in the way Delilah's birth was managed, we know that an apology can never undo what happened and may bring little comfort to Mr Hubbard and Ms Bassford.

"Nevertheless we are deeply sorry for the mistakes that were made and we would like to send our condolences to them both. We let them and Delilah down."

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