Mother who gave birth to dying premature baby alone in hospital toilet abandons legal action

Sadie Bailey. Picture: Ian Burt Sadie Bailey. Picture: Ian Burt

Monday, December 31, 2012
11:49 AM

A mother who gave birth to her dying son alone in a hospital toilet has abandoned her legal action against the hospital.

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Sadie Bailey said she was left in an accident and emergency waiting room for five hours, despite suffering from bleeding and having been told previously she had a condition that could lead to a miscarriage.

The Litcham woman, who was 42 at the time and 20 weeks pregnant, was booked into casualty at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn just after 11am on February 16, 2011, but said she was not seen by a consultant for 12 hours.

She said she told staff three times she thought she was in labour, but was told instead that her blood vessels were contracting, and her husband Tony was sent home while she was kept in for observation.

However, when she went to the toilet at about 1.30am she gave birth, on her own, but was unable to summon help because there was no call bell.

A junior doctor later found her holding her son, Ned, who was still attached by the cord.

Mrs Bailey, said: “He was just waving his arms around. I knew in my heart of hearts that he was not going to make it.

“He had high cheek bones and rose-bud lips.

“He had a facial structure that resembled our other boys.”

Doctors said Ned could not survive because his lungs were not sufficiently developed, and after nearly an hour and a half he died in his mother’s arms.

A spokesman for The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust said: “We remain desperately sorry for Mr and Mrs Bailey in the loss of their son, Ned.

“We have responded to all her concerns and queries through the formal complaints procedure and we have offered her the opportunity to meet with us to discuss Ned’s birth.”

He added that the hospital had now placed call bells in the toilets.

Mrs Bailey said: “For me, it was devastating. It’s devastating losing a child, and all your hormones tell you that you should have a child and every bone in your body says you should be carrying your baby away. It was just horrendous. It was just awful”

The family held a blessing for Ned at the hospital the following day, and Mrs Bailey said she now sleeps with his ashes by her bed.

She said she did not blame the hospital for Ned’s death and praised the care she received afterwards from the hospital midwife and chaplain, but said she would never know if he could have lived if doctors had taken steps to delay labour when she was first admitted.

Solicitor Sharon Allison of AshtonKCJ said the hospital denied negligence for not recognising Mrs Bailey was about to have a miscarriage, but said she could not take the legal case forward because the cost would be prohibitive.

She said: “Though Sadie wants an explanation and an apology rather than damages, it’s the disproportionate amount of money we would have to spend on proving her case which prevents us from pursuing it further.”

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