‘We will never for­get agony of los­ing Myles’ NHS trust ad­mits care fail­ings led to baby’s tragic death

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Ali­son Stacey Health Cor­re­spon­dent

THE heart­bro­ken par­ents of a baby who was born with a se­vere brain in­jury at a Dud­ley hos­pi­tal have won a sub­stan­tial pay-out af­ter the hos­pi­tal ad­mit­ted li­a­bil­ity for his death.

Myles Oak­ley was born on May 7 2015 at Rus­sells Hall Hos­pi­tal with ir­re­versible brain dam­age, af­ter his brain was starved with oxy­gen dur­ing his birth.

Myles was in dis­tress dur­ing the labour and when he was even­tu­ally de­liv­ered he needed to be re­sus­ci­tated.

Less than 24 hours later his par­ents Louise and Craig Oak­ley made the ag­o­nis­ing de­ci­sion to turn off his life sup­port ma­chine.

The Dud­ley Group NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, which runs the hos­pi­tal, has now agreed an sub­stan­tial set­tle­ment af­ter ad­mit­ted fail­ures in his care.

“The agony of los­ing Myles is some­thing that nei­ther of us will fully ever get over,” said mother Louise Oak­ley.

“Nearly three years on, I’m still an­gry with not only the care we re­ceived but the way we were treated by the hos­pi­tal.

“We never got to hold Myles while he was still alive and af­ter he died it felt like we were in the way. We were told his death was sim­ply ‘one of those things’.”

Myles died from a brain in­jury caused by a lack of oxy­gen, an in­fec­tion and bleed­ing.

The tragic in­ci­dent was one of 43 se­ri­ous in­ci­dents iden­ti­fied at the Rus­sells Hall ma­ter­nity unit between April 2014 and De­cem­ber 2015 which trig­gered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by NHS Eng­land.

Their damn­ing re­port, pub­lished in Oc­to­ber, found se­ri­ous fail­ings at the unit in­clud­ing slow re­sponses to ur­gent sit­u­a­tions, lack of se­nior pae­di­atric sup­port and ‘in­ad­e­quate’ pro­cesses for in­ves­ti­gat­ing se­ri­ous in­ci­dents.

A re­port pub­lished by the Dud­ley Ma­ter­nity Qual­ity Im­prove­ment Board last Oc­to­ber said ma­ter­nity ser­vices at the trust were now “safer and more clin­i­cally ef­fec­tive”.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion fo­cused on 25 in­ci­dents and found that, between April 2014 and De­cem­ber 2015, there had been one death and five cases of ‘avoid­able harm’.

But Mr and Mrs Oak­ley crit­i­cised the hos­pi­tal for not al­low­ing them to spend time with Myles and be­ing rushed out of the hos­pi­tal.

The cou­ple in­structed lawyers at Ir­win Mitchell who helped them se­cure a set­tle­ment and said they hoped that lessons had been learnt fol­low­ing their son’s death.

“Myles will al­ways be a part of our fam­ily”, added Louise.

“We are dev­as­tated he is not here to grow up with his brother and sis­ter but we will def­i­nitely make sure Sa­vana and Crixus will know all about their won­der­ful brother.”

Mr Oak­ley added: “I wouldn’t wish the pain our fam­ily has gone through over the last few years on any­one. I just hope that Rus­sells Hall makes im­prove­ments to make sure no­body else suf­fers like we have had to.

Mark Caw­ley, spe­cial­ist medi- cal neg­li­gence lawyer at Ir­win Mitchell added: “Louise and Craig will never for­get the tragic and trau­matic events sur­round­ing Myles’ birth.

“While noth­ing can ever make up for the loss of Myles we are happy that the hos­pi­tal trust has ad­mit­ted li­a­bil­ity, al­low­ing Louise and Craig to re­ceive spe­cial­ist sup­port as they try to come to terms with their son’s death the best they can.

“From our ex­pe­ri­ence of in­ves­ti­gat­ing ma­ter­nity care on be­half of the fam­i­lies af­fected, many birth in­juries, still­births and neona­tal deaths are wholly avoid­able. Trag­i­cally, Louise and Craig’s story is the lat­est ex­am­ple of this.

“It is vi­tal that the trust learns lessons from Myles’ death so other fam­i­lies don’t have to ex­pe­ri­ence the same suf­fer­ing as Louise and Craig.”

We never got to hold Myles while he was still alive and af­ter he died it felt like we were in the way Mother Louise Oak­ley

> Baby Myles Oak­ley who died at Rus­sells Hall Hos­pi­tal, and, in­set, his par­ents Craig and Louise Oak­ley

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