Baby girl brain-damaged after mid-wife ‘banned for incompetence’ deliver her

Baby girl is left brain-damaged after hospital allowed mid-wife who was ‘banned for incompetence’ to help deliver her

  • A baby girl was left with cerebral palsy after a midwife banned delivered her
  • Barts Health Trust in London admitting legal responsibility for the blunders
  • Sophie Addo, 58, was ‘excluded’ from working in the hospital just days earlier

A baby girl suffered catastrophic brain damage after a hospital allowed a midwife who had been ‘banned for incompetence’ to help deliver her.

Barts Health Trust in London is facing a multi-million-pound compensation payout after admitting legal responsibility for a series of shocking blunders that left the youngster with cerebral palsy.

Unbelievably, Sophie Addo, the midwife responsible for the birth, should not even have been present, having been ‘excluded from working in all areas of the hospital’ just days earlier after failing a retraining course on how to properly understand heart rate monitor readings.

The 58-year-old, who is understood to have been part of a team involved in an earlier incident at Newham University Hospital in East London which left a newborn baby with serious brain damage, said last night she had not been informed about the ban at the time. Remarkably, staff at the hospital’s birth unit were not told either. 

Sophie Addo (above), the midwife responsible for the birth, should not even have been present having been ‘excluded from working in all areas of the hospital’ just days earlier

Ms Addo, an agency worker who has since retired, is understood to have been prevented from working for the trust after failing a cardiotocography retraining course on February 21, 2017.

Despite that, she was booked for a shift at the hospital’s maternity unit on March 3 – the day that the 29-year-old mother arrived to have her first child.

Despite the pleas of the mother for anaesthetic to help with excruciating pain, Ms Addo failed to detect abnormalities in the baby’s heart rate, and neither she nor a doctor offered the option of a caesarean section or referred her to a specialist unit.

After the baby was eventually delivered during an emergency operation, she had to be resuscitated and was later found to have severe brain damage, which is thought to have occurred immediately before and shortly after birth.

Following a High Court case, the trust has agreed to settle a civil claim brought by the family. 

Paul McNeil, from law firm Fieldfisher, which represented them, said the mother, now 33, had been left devastated and ‘lessons must be learnt’ to avoid similar tragedies.

A doctor and another midwife who were involved in the incident were sent for extra training.

Ms Addo, from Romford, Essex, who was later referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council regulator and suspended, said: ‘I’ve been made a scapegoat.’ She claimed that the blame lay with the hospital, but shockingly she also appeared to be critical of the child’s parents.

Barts Health Trust in London (pictured) is facing a multi-million-pound compensation payout after admitting legal responsibility for blunders that left a baby girl with cerebral palsy

Barts Health Trust in London (pictured) is facing a multi-million-pound compensation payout after admitting legal responsibility for blunders that left a baby girl with cerebral palsy

‘When something happens, you can see from the reaction of the couple that you are the person to blame. They showed it clearly… they kept blaming me because they wanted a scapegoat,’ she said.

Asked about the retraining course, she said: ‘It was voluntary, I shouldn’t have been there. I didn’t know at the time that I had to take a test at the end of the session… Do you think if you haven’t prepared something, will you take the test? No.’

A spokesman for Barts Health NHS Trust said: ‘This is a tragic case and we are truly sorry for what happened. It is clear the level of care provided fell far below the high standards we set ourselves.

‘We acknowledge our legal liability, apologise for all the distress the family has gone through and hope that the settlement that is being agreed will provide all the care this child deserves.’

Barts Health Trust was placed in special measures five years ago after a series of problems, including poor A&E care, a lack of staff, poor morale and a culture of bullying were found.

It was eventually removed from the Care Quality Commission’s special measures framework in February 2019 after making improvements.

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