MAJOR concerns have been raised about a hospital trust’s care of expectant mothers and babies after a baby died in a failed forceps delivery where “excessive force” was used.

Frederick Terry, also known as “Freddie”, died 40 minutes after he was born under the care of the Mid and South Essex Hospitals Trust in Broomfield Hospital on November 16, 2019.

The trust runs Broomfield, Basildon and Southend Hospitals.

Following Freddie’s death being declared as a stillborn case, Senior Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray wrote a report to prevent future deaths and sent it to the trust.

It recorded the causes of death as hypovolaemic shock, skull fracture, scalp laceration and haemorrhage, and birth trauma.

In the report, Mrs Beasley-Murray said: “The evidence showed that baby Freddie’s very serious scalp and brain injuries were sustained during the failed forceps attempted delivery and, but for these, baby Freddie would have survived as a perfectly formed, healthy baby.”

Mrs Beasley-Murray found 11 matters of concern, including a lack of risk assessment leading up to the mother’s delivery, and that Freddie’s injuries imply an “excessive degree of force” from the forceps and traction.

The coroner also raised concerns about the accuracy of record keeping and management of staffing levels on the maternity ward, recommending more training for communications between personnel and family members.

Diane Sarkar, chief nursing officer, said the trust was “deeply sorry” for failings in Freddie’s care, and that enhanced staff training, and “robust guidelines” had been introduced since.

Basildon Hospital’s maternity unit was told this year it must improve patient safety after it was branded “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission.

It was given a deadline of November 9 to make improvements, which the trust met.

Caroline Klage, partner at law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp is representing a couple whose child was born with a brain injury at Basildon Hospital that have launched a civil case.

She said: “The events described by the coroner are, to put it simply, deeply shocking.

“It is now critically important that a full investigation is carried out to identify shortcomings in maternity and neonatal care at the trust with a view to taking meaningful steps to address these and ensure this never ever happens again. “

Gabriela Pintilie, 36, from Grays, died after losing six litres of blood when giving birth to her daughter via caesarean section at Basildon Hospital last year.

Stephanie Prior, head of medical negligence at Osbornes Law, representing Ms Pintilie’s family, said: “No one wants to go to hospital to deliver a baby and then come out without a baby, it must be devastating.”

Diane Sarkar said the trust was “absolutely committed” to improving the maternity service and will provide CQC with monthly updates, and that actions have been taken since the feedback.

She said: “These include introducing a new system to remotely monitor heart rates of babies, running additional training for more than 200 colleagues in high-risk baby areas, and having more consultants available on our labour wards.”