Hospital Faces Scrutiny Over Stillbirths Amid Pregnancy Concerns

by Ella

Hospital Faces Scrutiny Over Stillbirths Amid Pregnancy ConcernsA distressing incident involving the stillbirth of a baby has come to light as concerns about pregnancy complications are being raised. A 25-year-old mother claims that her worries about her baby’s reduced movements during late pregnancy were overlooked by hospital staff at Basildon Hospital, leading to the tragic stillbirth.


According to board papers from the Mid and South Essex NHS Trust, an investigation is underway concerning four baby deaths that occurred in August. The papers revealed that the pregnancy had been progressing without issues until week 33 when the mother reported blurred vision and headaches.


In week 37, during an ante-natal appointment, tests appeared normal, and the mother was discharged. The following day, she returned reporting no foetal movement, and an ultrasound confirmed the baby’s death.


The report submitted to the board indicated that the mother and father felt their concerns were not taken seriously, and the deteriorating symptoms were not adequately addressed. This lack of attention prevented a comprehensive obstetric assessment from taking place promptly.


The report further highlighted that due to competing clinical demands on staff and the mother’s multiple risk factors, the issue of reduced foetal movements was not given proper consideration. There was also a failure to involve or consult with a senior obstetrician when concerns about foetal movements persisted in a high-risk pregnancy.

A spokesperson from the trust, which oversees Southend, Basildon, and Broomfield hospitals, expressed condolences, stating that any baby loss or stillbirth is a tragic event. The trust is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding one death during a caesarean section operation and three stillbirths.

Two of the stillbirths occurred at Broomfield Hospital, where “some care concerns” were raised regarding one of the deaths. The other incident involved an unexpected, spontaneous onset of low-risk labor, where “some learning was identified.”

Alexander Field, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist with the trust, acknowledged the rarity of such incidents and emphasized the trust’s commitment to investigating them thoroughly to reduce risks. He pointed out that the trust supports around 1,000 births monthly across its hospitals, and the majority proceed without complications.

The trust is required to have robust systems and processes in place to facilitate effective reporting and learning from adverse events in healthcare delivery.

In response to these tragic losses, the trust’s governance leads are collating information to identify any common themes or trends across the trust.

It is worth noting that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the trust and its three hospitals as “requires improvement” in a review conducted last year, citing concerns about staff levels at Basildon Hospital and the need for enhanced safety measures to protect babies.


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