Inquest into the death of baby Adele O’Sullivan at Nottingham University Hospital Trust (NUHT)


February 9, 2022 | By Sadie Simpson |

February 9, 2022 | By Sadie Simpson |

Adele O’Sullivan was born and died on the 7th April 2021 at Nottingham City Hospital. Adele was born prematurely at 29+1 weeks gestation, her mother had a history of premature labour and was high risk, therefore following her waters breaking at 27+5 weeks, had been kept in hospital ‘for observation’.

Adele’s mother had been in hospital for over a week when Adele was eventually delivered, but sadly died 26 minutes after birth.

Adele’s death was declared a Level 2 Serious Incident (SI) by Nottingham University Hospital’s Trust (NUHT) and the Trust concluded  that there “was a delay in medical review” and that “Daniela should have been transferred to the labour suite at an earlier stage.”

The three-day inquest into the death of Adele took place at Nottingham Coroners Court, and the conclusion was handed down by Assistant Coroner, Elizabeth Didcock, on Wednesday 9th February 2022 via video link.

Following the conclusion, Daniela O’Sullivan, mother of Adele O’Sullivan gave the following statement:

“The whole family is truly devastated by the death of Adele, and we have completely lost our trust in the system. We are distraught that I was put to the back of the queue and not reviewed by doctors for hours until it was too late.  

Adele’s post-mortem showed no genetic or physical abnormality. Despite her early arrival, she would have been a happy and healthy baby and it is extremely painful to think how she could be here with us today. 

We are yet another Nottingham family affected by baby death, therefore we are adding our voice to the calls for a full independent Public Inquiry into maternity services at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust.”

Sadie Simpson, who represented the family at the Inquest, said:

“The hospital concluded in their own Serious Incident investigation report, that “If different actions had been taken at each stage, the course of subsequent events could have been changed.”

The Coroner found there were clear issues and delays in Daniela’s care. Opportunities were missed to ensure that a plan of management was made for Daniela which would have meant she was properly monitored and examined during her labour.

The Coroner was concerned with the Serious Investigation process at the Trust and as a result of this inquest, the Serious Investigation process at NUHT has now changed which ought to effectuate more accurate and robust evidence gathering.”

Press Coverage

Nottingham Post – 9th February 2022
Nottingham Post – 4th February 2022
Nottingham Post – 2nd February 2022

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Sadie Simpson

Sadie is a solicitor within our Medical Negligence team in Sheffield. She qualified as a solicitor in 2016 and joined our Medical Negligence team in 2018. In her time with Switalskis she has worked very effectively on complex cases and inquests. Sadie's profile