Mum says Nottingham hospitals ‘should have learnt lessons’ sooner after her baby died in 2018

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A mum whose baby died after care failings by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust said the trust “should have learnt lessons” earlier following his death

Hayley Coates, of Broxtowe, said her requests for a caesarean were ignored by staff before Kaylan died a week after she gave birth.

A coroner later found Kaylan’s death could have been avoided if she had been listened to. The trust, which runs the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital, is currently part of the largest maternity investigation in NHS history.

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Senior midwife Donna Ockenden is leading the independent review. In the last year, 700 families have consented to join the process.

This number is expected to rise to around 1,800 families due to the introduction of an ‘opt out’ methodology, meaning families will have to withdraw consent if they do not want to take part. Around 700 members of staff have also contributed to the review.

Hayley, who is now 30, was a first-time mum when she gave birth to Kaylan at the Queen’s Medical Centre. She now has three children. Hayley, who has suffered from PTSD as a result of Kaylan’s death, has an ongoing clinical negligence claim against the trust.

She said she had to wait for two years to bury her son after an inquest had been held. Sharon Wallis, Director of Midwifery at Nottingham University Hospitals, said the trust was “truly sorry” for failing Hayley and Kaylan.

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Hayley said she had a “normal pregnancy” with Kaylan but issues arose when she went into labour. She said: “I went into hospital at full term, the pregnancy was absolutely fine.

“I remember pushing for ages and asking for a Caesarean which was ignored. I had a forceps delivery in theatre and it took 20 minutes to get the forceps on.

“He was starved of oxygen for all that time. They fractured his skull when they put the forceps on and it led to a bleed on the brain. It wasn’t until the inquest two years later that I actually found out why he died.

“I couldn’t bury him for all that time either.”

Kaylan’s inquest was held in January 2021 where the coroner concluded the rare finding that neglect contributed to Kaylan’s death.

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The coroner concluded Kaylan died as a result of an overwhelming infection against a background of hypoxia and birth trauma, which occurred due to multiple failings in his care.

Now, Hayley wants to encourage more families to come forward to the Ockenden review.

She said: “Since my case, loads of other people have been through what I have. They should have made changes and learnt lessons when Kaylan passed away.

“How many babies and families have to suffer before they do something drastic about it?

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“It should have never happened to me and the families before me, never mind any more.

“The more families that come forward I just think it’s absolutely shocking.

“Nothing like this should have ever happened and NUH needs to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.

“I think the review has the power to do that. There are too many people out there speaking for NUH to put this aside now.”

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Emily Rose, Hayley’s solicitor, said the trust weren’t “open and honest” during the inquest into Kaylan’s death.

She said: “The trust’s own internal incident review didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing in the care provided to Kaylan.

“Then when we went to the inquest it quickly became apparent that wasn’t the case and the coroner was very critical of the care provided.

“The coroner found that the death was caused and or contributed to by neglect. How many people has this happened to since Kaylan’s inquest?”

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Sharon Wallis, Director of Midwifery at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, said: “We are truly sorry we failed Ms Coates and Kaylan in 2018 and we recognise the bravery it takes to tell their story and take part in the Independent Review.

“At our Annual Public Meeting last month we made a public commitment to a new, honest and transparent relationship with the families whose lives have been affected by maternity failings at the Trust.

“Alongside delivering on that commitment as a Trust we are also committed to supporting our staff in further progressing the improvements needed in services for women and children in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.”

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