Advising with empathy and experience

Mother reveals hospital's stillbirth failings.

A stillborn baby was left in a transport cot for six days on a hospital floor instead of being taken to a mortuary, her mother has revealed.

The baby girl was washed and dressed and handed to her parents following a Caesarean delivery at Medway Maritime Hospital but then overlooked by staff.

"It is going to haunt me for the rest of my life," said her 31-year-old mother, who has declined to be identified.

The hospital says it has introduced new guidelines to stop anything like this happening again.

The mother said her daughter, who was born in April 2014, was put in a cold cot, which keeps the baby's body cool to allow parents to spend time with their child.

The baby was later transferred to a transport cot, which does not keep the body cool, to be taken for a post mortem examination. However, it was not taken to the mortuary.

The mother added: "The hospital apparently only had one cold cot but another baby was in it. My daughter was in a transport cot on the floor. They totally forgot about her and left her to rot. She didn't take a breath but she was still a human being and she had the right to be treated properly."

The mother, who took legal action against the hospital, has received a "satisfactory settlement.”

Medway Maritime, which is in special measures, said it was extremely sorry and acknowledged its failings.

Head of midwifery and gynaecology, Dot Smith, said: "As a result of this incident, we've employed the services of a bereavement midwife to provide specialist support to our staff, and to help grieving families in co-ordinating bereavement care.

“We will also be unveiling a new bereavement suite for families who experience a stillbirth or lose a child shortly after birth."

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.