Midwife’s retraining is an ‘insult’

PUBLISHED: 12:30 25 May 2012

Neil and Charmaine Lewis with baby Ollie.

Neil and Charmaine Lewis with baby Ollie.


PARENTS of a terminally ill baby who suffered brain damage during labour have been told the midwife involved in the incident will be put on a retraining course.

Neil Lewis, aged 27, of Canterbury Close, and Charmaine Malcolm, aged 22, are the parents of 13-week-old Ollie Lewis, who was diagnosed with brain damage soon after being born at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol last February.

An investigation was carried out into the incident to provide the devastated parents with answers, after they were told by doctors that Ollie would not live past a year after being starved of oxygen to his brain during birth. This was due to a late delivery which occurred despite his parents making numerous attempts to get examined by their midwife.

Robert Woolley, chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said: “On behalf of the trust, I am deeply sorry for the errors that were made and the extreme distress these have caused the family.

“We have an action plan to implement the recommendations that have come out of the investigation. These include ensuring that women and their families are given advice on how to escalate any concerns and that the maternity service reviews the care pathway of women having induction of labour. We will implement the recommendations as quickly as possible.”

Mr Lewis said that, while he understands the results of the hospital’s investigation, he and his partner still feel better care could have been given to them.

He said: “We feel if the midwife did her job properly and cared for us we would be in a very different situation.

“I understand the hospital’s practises but all the apologies in the world will not make up for it and it’s insulting that she will just attend a retraining course. The retraining does not match a life.

“I accept other things were wrong as well and it’s not a witch hunt but we feel it was a huge factor. An examination at the time would have put our minds to rest.”

The parents will now be seeking compensation for the 24-hour care that is needed for their only son.

Mr Lewis said: “It’s not about money, as no amount of compensation will change things. I think we deserve to avoid a legal battle after all we have been through and the hospital agrees with that 100 per cent. It’s not just what happened to Ollie at the time, it’s also about what happens afterwards.”

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