Hospital apologises to Yorkshire woman who lost baby daughter for failings in her care

A woman from Bradford who lost her baby daughter to stillbirth is calling for lessons to be learned after a hospital trust apologised for failings in her care.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 6:00 am
Rebekah Muldowney, 34, was 40 weeks pregnant when she attended Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield last year. Photo credit: JPIMedia
Rebekah Muldowney, 34, was 40 weeks pregnant when she attended Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield last year. Photo credit: JPIMedia

Rebekah Muldowney, 34, was 40 weeks pregnant when she attended Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield with bleeding, pain and vomiting, in August last year.

She was given pain relief and, following assessment of the baby, she went home.

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But later the same day, on August 16, 2020, Ms Muldowney, of Oakenshaw, returned to hospital reporting contractions, continued vomiting and blood loss.

Roughly an hour-and-a-half after admission, Ms Muldowney reported she was unsure about the baby’s movements.

Three hours later, an attempt was made to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, which couldn’t be found. An ultrasound scan confirmed the baby had died. Labour was induced and Theodora was subsequently delivered by caesarean section.

Ms Muldowney, a graphic designer, said: “I don’t think we’ll ever get over losing Theodora so tragically.

"We were both looking forward to being parents and my pregnancy went by with no problems, so it never even crossed my mind that we wouldn’t be taking our baby girl home from hospital with us and starting a life with her.

“When I was admitted into hospital the second time, I was classed as low risk.

"Because of this, I was treated just like a scared first-time mum and I wasn’t listened to when I raised concerns about Theo’s reduced movements. I ended up being stuck on a waiting list while my baby was in distress."

After instructing Irwin Mitchell solicitors to investigate her treatment, Ms Muldowney said she has now received an apology from Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust - though legal action is ongoing to reach a settlement for the family.

Irwin Mitchell said through NHS Resolution, the trust has now admitted a breach of duty.

David Melia, Director of Nursing and Quality, at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We offer our deepest, heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the family and we understand that this has been a very traumatic time for all involved.

"Our own investigation into the care we gave the patient and her baby, recognised that the care provided to them was deficient and fell below the standard they were entitled to expect.

“We are truly saddened that this care led to the heart-breaking death of their baby, and of course no amount of compensation can replace their loss.

“We want to reassure the family that measures have been put in place to try to prevent this happening to another family.”

Ms Muldowney added: "It’s not even a year since she died and I think about her every day and often imagine what she would be like now. It’s absolutely devastating to know that we’ll never see her grow up; it breaks our hearts.

"We would give anything to turn back the clock and for things to be different but we know that’s not possible.

"All we can do now is share what happened and urge other mums-to-be to push for a second opinion if they think something’s not right and advocate for themselves."

Tracy Tai, specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Ms Muldowney, said: "It’s less than a year since Theodora’s death and it’s all still so raw for Rebekah and Thomas.

"What should have been one of the greatest days of their lives turned into the complete opposite and continues to have a profound effect on them.

"Sadly, we can’t do anything to bring Theodora back, but we welcome the Trust’s admission and now call for lessons to be learned to prevent this happening to others.

"In the meantime, we’ll continue to support Rebekah, Thomas and their family as they continue to attempt to come to terms with their loss as best they can."

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