Baby who died at maternity unit was 'rescuable', inquest hears
Premature baby who died at scandal-hit maternity unit was ‘rescuable’, inquest hears
A tiny premature baby who died at a scandal-hit NHS maternity ward was ‘rescuable’ if doctors had acted differently, an inquest has heard.
Little Nelly Webb was born at just 30 weeks gestation and only weighed 2lbs 9oz but tragically died the next day.
More than a year after Nelly’s death, her parents Jessica and Ricky were contacted by health chiefs at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in South Wales to say mistakes had been made during her care.
The hearing was told maternity services were put into special measures after a damning review revealed at least 60 stillbirths were not properly reported or investigated.
Her father Mr Webb, 32, said: ‘Nelly was our first born and we were absolutely heartbroken when she died.
‘We were told that she died from natural causes as a result of her prematurity.
Little Nelly Webb was born at just 30 weeks gestation and only weighed 2lbs 9oz but tragically died the next day
Nelly’s parents Jessica and Ricky are haunted by the tragedy after Nelly was born by C-section on New Year’s Day 2019
‘We really struggled after we lost Nelly so much so that Jessica couldn’t return to her place of work.
‘We were shocked and devastated again just 18 months later when we received a letter from the health board completely out of the blue telling us that mistakes had been made.’
The couple – who have since had two sons – are haunted by the tragedy after Nelly was born by C-section on New Year’s Day 2019.
Her mother Ms Webb, 31, said: ‘We are still deeply traumatised by what happened, and the fact that we had been lied to for so long. The legal process has exposed what really happened to our little girl which has been even more upsetting.
‘We were so terrified of history repeating itself and having lost any trust at all in the care provided at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, that we travelled to Cardiff to have our two boys in 2020 and 2023.’
The statement read by the assistant coroner Sarah Richards from Ms Webb described how her and her husband were told that Nelly died as she was simply born too early.
Specialist Dr Mallinath Chakraborty told the inquest that at least three points in her care raised concerns after he examined her treatment.
More than a year after Nelly’s parents Jessica and Ricky were contacted by health chiefs at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in South Wales to say mistakes had been made during her care
The couple – who have since had two sons – are haunted by the tragedy after Nelly was born by C-section on New Year’s Day 2019
The doctor said he would have considered using ventilation, but this was not done by doctors involved in her care and alternative methods of breathing support were used instead.
In his opinion, there were a number of opportunities where Nelly’s care could have been escalated in order to slow down her deterioration.
Dr Chakraborty also said there was also a delay in treating a collapsed lung when it did happen.
He said: ‘In my judgement there were two to three opportunities to slow down her deterioration.
‘I would like to think if the consultant was involved at an earlier stage and reviewed her clinically along with all the investigations and chest x-rays that were available at that time there was a reasonable prospect that a plan would have been changed and a plan to escalate her care with ventilation would have been made.’
A post mortem examination was not conducted into the tragic death of Nelly, from Rhondda Cynon Taff in South Wales.
He said it was ‘deeply regrettable’ that the correct investigations did not occur following Nelly’s death – referring to the lack of a post mortem examination.
The coroner asked Dr Chakraborty if Nelly was ‘rescuable’ if treatment had been given at the appropriate stages. He replied: ‘Yes’.
The coroner will hear from a number of witnesses including Allison Williams, the chief executive at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board from 2011 until her resignation in August 2019.
Williams resigned after an extended period of sick leave following the publication of a damning report in April 2019 into the maternity services at the Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles Hospitals.
The Royal Glamorgan Hospital stopped providing specialist neonatal care two months after Nelly’s death following a consultation.
The inquest in Pontypridd is set to last six days and continues.
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