Grieving parents’ five-year wait for hospital apology over death of baby daughter

26th April 2017

Grieving parents’ five-year wait for hospital apology over death of baby daughter

There can be no deeper pain for a parent than the sudden loss of a child. The unimaginable grief can leave emotional scars that may never fully heal.

It was a nightmare that befell Michelle and James Martin-Whymark when daughter Summer died just two days after being born at Colchester Hospital in 2012. Their distress was made even worse by the fact the tragedy could have been avoided had Mrs Martin-Whymark been properly monitored during labour.

Yet it has taken a five-year legal battle for the couple to finally receive an apology and an admission that the hospital failed their baby girl.

Mrs Martin-Whymark said: “The fact that I lost, or we lost, our daughter because of their poor management, their poor decision making, ultimately decided the fate of our daughter on that evening.”

As a result of Colchester Hospital’s negligence, Summer was starved of oxygen at birth, causing irreparable brain damage.

The bitter heartbreak of losing their daughter was exacerbated by the trust’s reluctance to say sorry, forcing the couple to embark on a long and emotionally-draining campaign for an official apology.

Nick Hulme, Chief Executive of Colchester Hospital, said: “I would like to apologise once more to Mr and Mrs Martin-Whymark for the failings in care of their daughter which led to her death.

“I believe that we took too long to apologise to Summer’s parents and I recognise that the time it has taken for our apology and for the legal processes to conclude, has significantly added to their distress and grief.”

Last year, the Government set out encouraging plans for a new system of fast-track compensation for children injured as a result of medical error. The announcement of the Rapid Resolution and Redress scheme came after figures revealed that compensation claims against the NHS for catastrophic blunders in childbirth had tripled in a decade.

How can Gotelee help?

When the worst happens, the only hope for closure is a clear understanding of why and how the tragedy occurred – and the belief that lessons have been learned.

Gotelee has represented a number of parents who have been failed by the system and who deserve the right to seek damages. We pride ourselves on offering a compassionate and sensitive service.

By making a claim, you could receive the necessary financial help to deal with the consequences of an error, as well as helping to ensure the same mistake isn’t repeated.

Our team of Suffolk specialist medical negligence lawyers are experts in ensuring that our clients receive the right compensation.

To find out how we can help you, contact the Medical Negligence Team on 01473 298122. We also have offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge or Melton.

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