Hospital settles with Suffolk mum as son was stillborn after cancelled scan

Newmarket mother Samantha Woodley and her family

Newmarket mother Samantha Woodley and her family - Credit: Woodley Family/Tees Law

A west Suffolk mother whose son was stillborn has agreed a settlement from a hospital after she received "sub-standard" maternity care.

Samantha Woodley lost her son, Theo, in March 2019 at The Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge, which is part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

In the days leading up to Theo’s death, Ms Woodley, who was 38 weeks pregnant, had already raised multiple concerns about reduced fetal movements – but had a scan cancelled.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has apologised to Ms Woodley and promised to learn from the actions that led to Theo’s death.

Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge

Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge - Credit: Google Maps

The trust admitted the scan should not have been cancelled on March 18, 2019, without first speaking to Ms Woodley and asking questions about Theo’s movements.

When Ms Woodley, 31, from Newmarket, spoke to the hospital on March 19 to ask why her scan did not take place, the hospital admitted she should have been seen that day.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust declined to comment on the matter.

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Tees Law, which acted on behalf of Ms Woodley and her family, described the care she received as "sub-standard" and said it was pleased to secure the settlement.

Ms Woodley said she believed Theo would not have been stillborn if the scan went ahead as planned.

She said: "Doctors are trained to listen to the mother’s instincts when children are unwell. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case in pregnancy.

"If it had been, Theo would still be here.

"Looking back, the ‘if only’ and the ‘what ifs’ run around my head. I can’t bring Theo back or change the guilt and devastation that has happened to our family.

"What I can do is get our story heard so that no one else has to endure the pain and suffering of losing a baby in this way.

“I want every pregnant mum to trust your own instincts, make a fuss, insist that every check is undertaken whenever you seek medical help.

"Medical professionals are not always right, trust yourself.

"Reduced movements are not okay.

"My only wish is that pregnant women would listen to their bodies and not be dissuaded by the medical profession.

“If Theo had a proper trace, things would have been different.

"To health professionals I want to say, ‘please listen to the mum’, they know what is normal for this pregnancy.

"It’s not fair that I had to lose my child for systems to be changed.

"Please don’t let Theo’s name be in vain. Take action. If in doubt shout. Make a fuss."

The trust has confirmed that as a result of Theo's death, it has created specific scan lists to care for women presenting at hospital with reduced fetal movements.

It has also updated guidelines to include clearer information on the review of women with recurrent reduced fetal movements after 37 weeks to help prevent any similar cases in the future.