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Series of failings led to the death of one-day-old baby girl

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Midwife struck off for looking up confidential medical records

An inquest has taken place into the sad death of one-day-old Niamh Hannah Casey-Patterson.

On 9 November 2015, Niamh was delivered at North Manchester General Hospital. Niamh’s mother, Jane Casey, went into labour on 8 November 2015 and attended North Manchester General Hospital, however, she was sent home to wait for the labour to progress.

On 9 November 2015, Ms Casey returned to North Manchester General Hospital. Contractions had not yet started and therefore Ms Casey was admitted and left under the care of a student midwife.

At 8.04pm Niamh was born and was taken away to be given oxygen. A decision was then made to transfer Niamh to St Mary’s Hospital for further treatment and a team arrived to make the transfer at 12.30am, however, Niamh was not transferred until 3.45am.

Once at St Mary’s Hospital, clinicians informed Niamh’s parents that she had been starved of oxygen and had meconium on her lungs (meconium is a black sticky stool normally passed within 24 hours of delivery). Sadly, they were told that Niamh was likely to be severely brain damaged. On 10 November 2015, Niamh passed away following an agonising decision by her parents to not have any intervention by way of life support.

A letter, written by Sir David Dalton, Chief Executive of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, was read out at the Inquest. In the letter, Sir Dalton formally apologised to Niamh’s parents and stated that the Trust’s own investigation into the death had identified several failings of the management of Ms Casey’s labour, delivery and following care. The Trust admitted that the clinicians had misinterpreted the CTG which had indicated that the baby was in distress and there were additional concerns surround Niamh’s resuscitation.