A heartbroken mum gave birth to her stillborn son after staff at Bassetlaw Hospital failed to follow the high-risk pregnancy care plan to induce labour at 39 weeks.
Stacey Lebond, aged 26, had already suffered four miscarriages, including the stillbirth of her son, Ayrton in April 2012, so medics at her local hospital in Essex put a pregnancy care plan in place to make her latest pregnancy as safe as possible.
However, after the breakdown of her relationship in late 2014, Stacey moved to Nottinghamshire to be near family, coming under the care of staff at Bassetlaw, who failed to follow the care plan even when she attended five times when her baby son Tobias was barely moving.
On each occasion midwives checked Tobias’ heartbeat and reassured Stacey he was fine, before sending her home.
But two days after Stacey’s last panicked visit, Tobias had stopped moving completely and midwives used a portable scanner to try to find a heartbeat.
Despite getting a reading, there was no one in the hospital who could interpret it, meaning Stacey had an agonising overnight wait before learning Tobias had died.
The hospital trust, which launched its own Serious Untoward Incident investigation following Tobias’ death, has apologised to Stacey for what it called “missed opportunities” to induce labour.
Stacey, an accountancy student, said: “Tobias would be 16 months old now. I should be taking him to play group, not visiting his grave.
“An apology won’t mend my broken heart or bring my little boy back, but by recognising the mistakes and taking steps to improve maternity care, the hospital will hopefully ensure no other parent loses a baby.
“Parents need to feel confident in speaking frankly about their concerns with doctors and midwives, and the medical professionals need to listen.”
Bassetlaw Hospitals Trust said it would develop in-house training packages to highlight the importance of escalating to obstetricians any high-risk patients or patients presenting with multiple episodes of reduced foetal movements.
The individual midwives who failed to escalate Stacey’s case will be referred to the supervisor of midwives and ward manager for individual management.
Helen Jones, medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Stacey, said: “Stacey hopes that by admitting liability and apologising, the trust will have learned from this tragic case and avoid causing further suffering to other expectant parents.”
Richard Parker, director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality at DBH, said: “On behalf of the Trust I would like to offer sincere apologies to Stacey and her family for the loss of Tobias.
“The Serious Incident process is used to ensure that we systematically review whether any lessons can be learnt to improve the safety and quality of care provided to our patients. All of the recommendations within the review undertook of Stacey’s and Tobias’ care, have been taken forward to help to reduce the risk of something like this happening again.”