Newborn baby died after 61-hour delivery delay at over-stretched maternity unit
A baby died because of a 61-hour delay in delivering him at an overstretched maternity unit, an inquest heard yesterday. Teacher Sarah Dawson, 33, was sobbing in agony after her waters broke and she tried to give birth naturally.
It was more than two days later before her baby boy, Oliver, was born by caesarean section. He died 42 minutes later as a result of an infection picked up as she waited to give birth.
Attempts to deliver Oliver were first delayed due to hospital policy to wait 24 hours to see if labour starts naturally after a woman’s waters break. This was extended to 38 hours because ‘assisted births’ cannot be carried out at night at Dewsbury Hospital, the inquest was told.
Miss Dawson then had to wait much of the next day because midwives and doctors in the delivery suite were too busy to deal with her.
More problems ensued when a doctor was unable to take a sample of the baby’s blood to check on his condition because a piece of medical equipment was missing, the hearing in Bradford was told.
Eventually the caesarean section was carried out and Oliver was born with barely a heartbeat and could not breathe unaided.
A post mortem revealed that he died from pneumonia due to an infection which had developed after his mother’s waters broke.
Miss Dawson and her partner Phillip Schofield, an electrician, of Morley, Leeds, have accused Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust of negligence. She said: ‘I have been to see my own doctor who is of the opinion that had my baby been delivered in 24 to 48 hours following my waters breaking – rather than 61 hours – he would be with us today. ‘I’m now off work sick with depression and I’m finding it hard just to get through each day.’
Her baby was due on August 3 last year – until her waters broke at 36 weeks at 7.30pm on Monday, July 12. The hearing was told that under national guidelines pregnant women in her situation should be brought to delivery in 24 hours. However, in Miss Dawson’s case it took more than twice as long.
Consultant Dr Sadiq Shama said the delivery suite was busy because of the number of mothers and the lack of midwives at the time. ‘If I was concerned about her and the baby we would have stopped someone else’s ongoing care to start the induction,’ he added.
Another consultant, Dr Muhammed Sandow, who was unable to take a fetal blood sample in the run-up to the caesarean because the necessary amnioscope was not available, said of the pregnant mother: ‘She was in tears due to the painful contractions.’ He said the risks of her developing an infection were obvious by this stage.
When delivery with the help of an epidural wasn’t successful, medical staff initially decided upon a forceps delivery, but the boy was eventually born by caesarean at 8.15am on Thursday, July 15.
Careless Muslim doctor who sent dying four-year-old home with Calpol found guilty of misconduct – but is cleared to continue working
Another one of the “overseas-trained” terrors that infest the NHS
A doctor found guilty of misconduct after he sent a dying four-year-old girl home with just a mild children’s painkiller has been told he can carry on working. The girl, known only as Hannah, died of pneumonia hours after being sent home by Pakistani-trained GP Dr Shoab Ibrahim.
Her worried parents had taken her to the Robert Frew Medical centre in Wickford, Essex, with a cough, vomiting and a high temperature. She was seen by Dr Ibrahim who said she was suffering from a chest infection and told her parents to give her Calpol syrup.
Five days later the dying girl was carried back into the surgery by her father with blue lips and again the doctor told her anxious parents to give her the children’s paracetamol-based painkiller. Hannah died just hours later of pneumonia, a hearing of the General Medical Council in London was told.
A GMC panel has now ruled that Dr Ibrahim was guilty of misconduct – but concluded that it was ‘highly unlikely’ that he would make the same mistake again. Sheleen McCormack, panel chairman, said: ‘You have shown insight into your misconduct and you have remedied the deficiencies in this case. ‘The panel does not consider your fitness to practice is impaired.’ She concluded that the GP had now dealt with the issues that led to the error after undergoing re-training.
Hannah’s parents told the court that Dr Ibrahim had kept his back half turned to them for most of the six-minute appointment when they returned to the practice for the second time. They claimed the GP had taken just moments to examine their daughter.
The doctor admitted failing to make an adequate, detailed assessment of the condition, but said Hannah’s parents had not told him ‘key details’ after the symptoms. He told the hearing: ‘My understanding right from the beginning was Mrs A and Mr A felt it was because of me that these things all happened, but that is not actually the case.’
Dr Ibrahim had denied allegations that he failed to listen to the parents’ concerns and did not check the girl’s pulse or temperature in the second examination but he admitted to failing to keep an adequate record of the consultation.
Hannah was first taken to the doctors on December 29, 2008. Dr Ibrahim told the girl’s worried parents that she had an upper respiratory chest infection, to give her Calpol and she should recover in three for four days.
Hannah’s parents made an emergency appointment on January 2, 2009, and by that time she was so weak her parents drove the short distance from her home and her father carried her into the surgery. The hearing was told that when they arrived Dr Ibrahim allegedly said: ‘Oh, you are back’. The girl was said to have blue lips and did not talk or fidget during the consultation.
It was claimed that during this second consultation Dr Ibrahim did not perform his job adequately. It was alleged he only lifted Hannah’s shirt and listened to her front and back briefly before sending her home again with the advice to take Calpol.
Hannah’s parents were told to return to the doctor’s within a week but within hours of the consultation their daughter had died. A post mortem examination revealed she had been suffering from pneumonia for between two days and a week.
The new British police ‘diversity’ course that uses videos of Christina Aguilera and Susan Boyle
Police officers are being sent on a bizarre training course that uses video clips of singers Christina Aguilera and Susan Boyle to explain issues surrounding equality and diversity to staff.
Those attending also have to listen to a specially made-up fairy story about witches so they can better understand how to combat prejudice and discrimination.
And in a session about minority groups and harassment, the staff see images of bullying, gay kissing and a transsexual.
The equality sessions have been devised by Tayside Police in the East of Scotland, a region which is mainly rural but includes the small cities of Dundee and Perth.
The day-long course includes a session on ‘communication, stereotyping, prejudice and assumptions’ which involves staff watching a two-minute clip of Susan Boyle making her debut on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009.
Participants are reminded that judges on the ITV show initially wrote off Boyle’s chances because of her appearance. They are then advised not to make lasting judgments about people based on their first impressions.
The same session also requires staff to listen to a four-minute fairy story called The Witches Of Glum, which is about the rivalry between the elderly King of Glum and a disfigured witch called Groga.
Course material says: ‘This exercise feeds on the stereotypical images many of us are familiar with from fairytales, where the wicked witch is ugly and the hero was a young prince or knight.’
A session called minority groups, harassment and bullying kicks off with a viewing of the video that accompanied Aguilera’s 2002 UK tour No1 hit Beautiful. It features people being bullied, a gay couple kissing and an ageing transsexual.
Last night, Conservative MP Philip Davies said: ‘The courses sound drivel – a combination of the blindingly obvious with the utterly ridiculous. We have a situation where forces claim they have no money for proper policing but at the same time they spend thousands on equality and diversity projects.’
Tayside Police said the course was mainly for civilian staff and only a handful of officers had attended. A spokesman added: ‘These initiatives are not about being politically correct but about being professional.’
Another triumph of British bureaucracy
Widow, 84, forced to wash herself in sink for THREE months after boiler breaks and council can’t fix it (despite sending 14 workmen round)
A widow of 84 has been forced to wash herself in her sink for three months after her boiler broke and the council were unable to fix it – despite sending 14 different workmen to her home.
Nessie Rennie of Aberdeen hasn’t had enough hot water to have a shower or even wash her dishes after her heating system stopped working. She contacted her local council and since then the 14 workmen have visited her home but the problem has still not been fixed.
Charity Age Scotland said that Mrs Rennie’s battle for hot water was ‘completely unacceptable’ and she was being left to live in ‘medieval conditions’.
Mrs Rennie, who lives in a housing complex in the city, worked as a caretaker for the council for 25 years – but her long service doesn’t seem to be doing her any favours.
One worker who came out to repair a shower, thought to be at the centre of the problems, suggested that Mrs Rennie should leave a tap running in the sink while the shower was on. Mrs Rennie said: ‘It was a ridiculous suggestion. I’m 84 years old, what did he expect me to do – jump in and out of the shower every time the water gets cold? ‘We’re just going round in circles, I’m at my wits’ end.’
Mrs Rennie’s grandson Paul, said it was disgraceful that a woman of 84 was being forced to sponge herself clean in her living room because of the council’s failures. Paul, 35, said: ‘Workmen have been coming up to the flat and asking what the problem is, they aren’t aware of what they are meant to be looking at. ‘Fourteen people have attempted to fix the hot water and don’t know what’s wrong with it. ‘The plumber will say it’s a job for the electrician – he’ll come out and say it’s a job for the plumber – nothing is being done.’
The widow, who has lived in her flat for 10 years, said she had been given the chance to shower at a neighbouring flat six weeks after the water went off – but she refused on principle as she wanted the problem solving in her own home.
A spokeswoman for Age Scotland said: ‘It beggars belief that in three months the council has proved unable to sort out the water supply at Mrs Rennie’s home. ‘It is completely unacceptable that in a country where over 20 per cent of the population are pensioners, public bodies are leaving them to fend for themselves in medieval conditions.’
A spokesman for Aberdeen council said: ‘We apologise for the inconvenience caused to the resident and will send maintenance staff to the property again to investigate.’
British government school pupils ‘held back by soft High School courses — leaving just one-in-six qualified for elite universities’
Just one in six comprehensive pupils stands a chance of studying at an elite university – because they take the wrong A-levels, figures show.
Russell Group universities, such as Bristol, Leeds and Manchester, as well as Oxford and Cambridge, only accept those with top grades in three or more core A-level subjects.
But official figures show that each year just 15 per cent of state school pupils are entered for three or more of these A-Levels – maths, sciences, English literature, the humanities or modern and classical languages. Instead they take ‘soft subjects’ such as media studies and law, which will deny them places at more than 20 prestigious universities.
Almost a third of private school and grammar school pupils take three core subjects, data for 2010 shows.
State school take-up varies widely by local authority. In Knowsley, Merseyside, just 1 per cent of pupils did three core subjects compared with 25 per cent in Hammersmith and Fulham, West London.
Tory MP Elizabeth Truss who requested the figures in a Parliamentary question, blamed schools for pushing pupils into easier subjects. ‘They are being missold low quality subjects that are not accepted at top universities to boost results,’ she warned.
Dr Wendy Piatt, of the Russell Group, said: ‘Too few students from some state schools opt for science, maths and language A-levels, restricting their options at university.’