Medical Negligence

Fletchers Solicitors secures judgment against Lancashire hospital for birth injury from 2012

August 1, 2023
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Fabricated notes by midwives prolonged legal proceedings and the family’s fight for justice.

Fletchers Solicitors’ Birth Injury team has secured judgement against an NHS hospital in response to a birth injury suffered by 11-year-old Jayden Astley.

Due to the alleged failures in care at the time of his birth, Jayden has faced ongoing challenges throughout his life including deafness, motor impairments, cognitive difficulties, and behavioural difficulties.

The High Court case ruled that Jayden’s condition was caused by prolonged umbilical cord compression that resulted in acute profound hypoxia (lack of oxygen) which he sustained during the management of the birth at Royal Preston Hospital.

The judgment stated that, amongst other things, the midwives at the hospital had failed to accurately monitor the baby’s heart rate and failed to identify his bradycardic heart rate abnormality during delivery and moreover, fabricated the notes.

Competent performance of each would have led to earlier delivery and avoided the brain injury.

The midwives’ birthing notes were inaccurate and inconsistent, which resulted in prolonging the legal process and the distress for the family.

The Astley family was represented by birth injury specialist and Partner, Trevor Ward from Fletchers Solicitors and Barrister, Darryl Allen KC from Byrom Street Chambers.

Trevor Ward said: “This has been a traumatic and difficult journey for the Astley family, and we very much welcome the judgment, which finds that Lancashire Teaching Hospitals were negligent in their care of Jayden during his birth at the Royal Preston Hospital.”

“The behaviour of and actions taken by the midwives cited in this case are deeply concerning; one reason why Jayden’s case has taken so long to get to this point is that, as the Judge makes clear, the midwives failed to take the appropriate actions to ensure Jayden’s safety, and fabricated their notes after the fact. We believe this is an urgent matter for the Trust to examine.”

“This is not the final stage in the case. Today’s judgment, while welcome, determined breach of duty and causation only, not the value of the claim. We now have work to do to agree the damages payable to Jayden for negligence, a process that is likely to take many more months.”

“Jayden celebrated his 11th birthday on 22 July, so we very much hope to expedite this next stage in the legal process as fast as possible to bring closure for Jayden and his family.”

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