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Mother’s Plea to Keep West Cumberland Consultants

Mother’s Plea to Keep West Cumberland Consultants

The bereaved mother of a boy who suffered brain damage following a delay in his delivery has backed West Cumbria midwives in their plea to keep consultant-led maternity care at West Cumberland Hospital.

Amy Millar’s son Bailey Brown was left with severe cerebral palsy, following a delay in the transfer of his mother from the midwife-led maternity unit in Alnwick to Wansbeck General Hospital. He suffered a lifetime of poor health until he died on Christmas Eve 2014, aged just 11.

Ms Millar (29) is speaking out following the publication of the Success Regime’s proposals to limit consultant-led services at West Cumbria Hospital. The proposals were also criticised by West Cumbria midwives in an open letter to We Love West Cumberland Hospital’s Facebook page.

Ms Millar (pictured above with Bailey) said, “I’m shocked that a midwife-led unit is even being considered. Everything can change in an instant and if the right care is not there, it causes so much devastation. It all went wrong for me and Bailey on the 30 mile journey from a midwife-led unit to hospital. Our life was completely flipped. Bailey was so brain-damaged by the delay to his delivery that he needed 24 hour care– it was not the life he was meant to be born into. We never knew how long he was going to live. I don’t want what happened to us to ever happen to anyone else.”

Angela CurranWith the help of Angela Curran at Burnetts (pictured right), Bailey’s family brought a claim of medical negligence against Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. In 2008, Angela secured a multi million pound settlement for Bailey to help fund his complex care needs, although the Trust never accepted liability for Bailey’s injuries.

Angela, who is Head of Medical Negligence at Burnetts, said, “One of the options being considered by Success Regime is for the provision of a midwife-led unit at West Cumberland Hospital with all other births booked for delivery in Carlisle. This would be a potentially disastrous option for mothers and babies in West Cumbria. I have seen many cases, like Bailey’s, in midwife-led units in Cumbria and in the North East where the absence of a consultant has led to catastrophic injury in babies. The window for intervening when things go wrong is often just minutes. Our midwives do a fantastic job but, sadly not every birth is straightforward and when difficulties arise, swift intervention from a consultant obstetrician can be the difference between a safe delivery or a tragedy.”

Angela Curran is nationally recognised, medical negligence solicitor. She is an expert in the sensitive area of birth trauma cases, working extensively with children with cerebral palsy. Accredited by the Law Society, and the charity AvMa, for her experience in Clinical Negligence, Angela is also a Trustee of The Percy Hedley Foundation which is a specialist school for children with cerebral palsy.

Amy and Bailey’s father Gareth Brown (35) live near Alnwick with their two other sons Roman and Freddie.

Published: Thursday 29th September 2016
Categorised: Legal Services in Newcastle, Medical Negligence, West Cumbria

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