The inquest into the death of Baby Wynter Andrews concluded yesterday, with the coroner stating that “obvious neglect” had contributed to Wynter’s death. I represented Wynter’s family throughout the inquest, which began on the 24th September at Nottingham Coroner’s Court. It is hoped that the findings of the inquest will bring about greater scrutiny and transparency into the practices of Nottingham University Hospital Trust’s maternity services.
We already know of other incidents where failings in the Trust’s practices have brought about tragic circumstances for parents and would urge others to speak up if they feel that they may have been affected.
At the conclusion of the inquest, I was asked to read out the following statement, on behalf of Wynter’s family:
Today our daughter Wynter was given a voice and we hope that she will be heard and listened to. Wynter died from neglect arising from the gross failings in the care provided by Nottingham Hospitals. She was a victim of the trust’s unsafe culture and practices. We know Wynter isn’t an isolated incident.
There have been other baby deaths arising because of the Trust’s systemic failings. Whilst we welcome the coroner’s referral to the CQC for an investigation, we are calling for Matt Hancock to launch an investigation into the maternity services at the Trust. Wynter lived in a moment of beauty and had we listened to the Trust rather than our own instinct, we would not have got the answers we needed. If Wynter’s story resonates with you, it is never too late to speak up and seek the answers that your baby deserves.
Having helped clients with a number of highly emotive cases like this one, I know that one of the wishes of the parents is always to help prevent other parents suffering the same devastating sense of loss. The Coroner herself raised an issue that parents may be so much in shock when their baby dies that they do not have the strength to speak up, or they do not feel that they will be listened to. As Wynter’s family said in their statement, it is very important that you speak up, ask questions and have your voice heard if you feel that you may have suffered as a result of negligence at this or any other hospital.
Wynter’s case has already generated a lot of interest from the media. We sincerely hope that this publicity helps generate the awareness needed to help avoid unnecessary deaths and birth injuries in the future. Below is a selection of the publicity so far:
- Nottinghamshire Live – https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/queens-medical-centre-childbirth-wynter-4585207
- BBC News – https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-54452810
- The Independent – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/baby-dead-maternity-unit-nhs-nottingham-hospital-safety-wynter-andrews-b865935.html
- BBC East Midlands Evening News – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000nb2j/east-midlands-today-evening-news-071
- Shaun Lintern Tweets – https://twitter.com/ShaunLintern/status/1313902367964835840, https://twitter.com/ShaunLintern/status/1313910356440477703
- BBC East Midlands Tweet: https://twitter.com/bbcemt/status/1313858160562786305