Inquest opens into death of Dalton baby that died two days after being born at Furness General Hospital (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Inquest opens into death of Dalton baby that died two days after being born at Furness General Hospital
5:46pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
THE former head of midwifery at Furness General Hospital has admitted there was 'negligence by omission' in the care of a baby who died aged just two-days-old.
Denise Fish, who held the top maternity post for 42 years, made the admission in a damning memo that she wrote but did not send following the death of tot, Elleanor Bennett, daughter of Dalton couple, Lesley and Gary Bennett.
At the inquest which opened today into Elleanor's death it was heard that midwives had failed to monitor her heart rate for more than 40 minutes during birth, despite Mrs Bennett being classed as 'high risk'.
"If this case went to litigation and expert witnesses were asked to comment they would certainly question the delay of 40 minutes with no fetal heart monitoring," said Miss Fish in the memo, which was read out by South Lakes coroner, Ian Smith.
"I would conclude there was negligence by omission."
Elleanor died at Liverpool Women’s Hospital less than 48 hours after she was born at the Barrow hospital in February 2004.
At the time Mr and Mrs Bennett were told that it was 'just one of those things'.
But the death was later brought up as part of the police investigation into maternity services at FGH and was handed to Mr Smith to look into in March, last year.
During the first day of the inquest, at Barrow Town Hall, several midwives admitted they had not been able to check Elleanor's heart rate for 43 minutes immediately before her birth but had failed to call a doctor.
Shedding a tear, Mrs Bennett said: "As soon as she was placed on me I looked down and she was looking a bluey-grey colour.
"I touched her shoulder and her head flopped and I asked them: 'What's wrong with my baby?'"
Jason Wells, the family's legal representative, said: "The trust were acutely aware of the problems but they were never communicated to Mrs Bennett."
The inquest will continue tomorrow.
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