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