Couple reveal agony of delivering daughter after being told she was dead due to hospital mistakes

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A COUPLE have revealed their agony after failures at the hospital where they both worked led to their daughter being stillborn.

An investigation found Harriet Hawkins’ death could have been prevented if she had received better care from staff at Nottingham City Hospital.

 Jack and Sarah Hawkins are campaigning for a change in the law after their daughter was stillbornNottingham Post / BPM Media Jack and Sarah Hawkins are campaigning for a change in the law after their daughter was stillborn

She was stillborn on April 17, 2016 following a six day labour and it took her mother Sarah, 34, nine hours to deliver her, reported the Daily Mail.

Mrs Hawkins worked for Nottingham City Hospital Trust as a physiotherapist and her husband Jack, 48, was employed there as a doctor.

He said: “The room was filled with the most horrific sound of Sarah’s screams, a sound that no husband would ever want to hear. It was terrible.

“One minute we’d been told our first child was ready to deliver — the next we were being told she was dead.”

 A report found that she died because of multiple hospital failuresNottingham Post / BPM Media A report found that she died because of multiple hospital failures

He explained that he and his wife had rung the hospital multiple times in the days before Harriet’s birth asking to be admitted to the labour suite.

However, they were told on multiple occasions by midwives that Sarah wasn’t in labour and that she didn’t need to come in, .

They eventually convinced their colleagues that she should be allowed in and when she arrived midwives found she was 9cm dilated and that the baby’s head was visible.

Midwives struggled to find a heartbeat and eventually a registrar told the couple their baby was dead.

 Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have apologised for their 'shortcomings'Nottingham Post / BPM Media Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have apologised for their ‘shortcomings’

Sarah said: “I was completely numb. Part of me wanted to believe they’d got it wrong, that she was still alive.

“They showed her to me after she was born, but I couldn’t hold her. She was perfect; it just looked like she was asleep.”

After Harriet was born the couple were allowed to spend some time with their child before she was taken away for a post-mortem examination.

The hospital said she died of an infection in the womb but the couple, with their medical backgrounds, did not believe the explanation.

Mums-to-be should ALWAYS sleep on their side to prevent stillbirth

An investigation conducted independently of the hospital found that there were 13 failures in Harriet’s care.

The report, made public this week, said a “lack of midwifery leadership” and “poor safety culture” contributed to her death.

The concluded that Harriet’s death was “almost certainly preventable”.

Mr and Mrs Hawkins have now referred their daughter’s case to the Criminal Prosecution Service and campaigned for a change in the law.

They want coroners to have the powers to investigate stillbirths so failings can be identified and prevented from happening again.

The couple can now make plans to bury their daughter but still struggle with her passing.




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