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Compensation paid by Scarborough hospital

16/02/12: A claim has been settled between a mother whose son passed away just hours after he was born and Scarborough hospital. Mrs Wallace claimed medical negligence led to the death of her baby son, who died in 2009 after hospital staff did not follow adequate procedures which could have helped the child to breathe.

It had been a difficult pregnancy for Mrs Wallace, who suffered from a low-lying placenta. Her son Harry was delivered eight weeks premature via emergency C-section at 10pm on the 10th September 2009. He weighed just 3 pounds 11 ounces, and was rushed straight away to the hospital’s Special Baby Care Unit.

Mrs Wallace has expressed her pain at not being able to hug him before he passed away, and missed the opportunity to watch him move. Neither of Harry’s parents were informed about the difficulties that Harry was experiencing, which has led them to feel they were not there when he needed them most.

Harry passed away at 6:42am the day after he was born.

Solicitors for Mrs Wallace filed a report claiming that a series of errors were made by the staff in charge of Harry’s care, which contributed to his breathing difficulties. The failures included not following respiratory support procedures or transferring him to a specialist unit in Leeds.

Other failures in the report include improper ventilation given to Harry to aid his breathing. It has also been revealed by Mrs Wallace that there were too few staff on duty, meaning that nobody could take her to see Harry before he died.

Chris Moore, one of Mrs Wallace’s solicitors, said that there was clear evidence that Harry was likely to have survived if he had been treated properly by hospital staff. He described the situation as “preventable” and that the communication failures between the parents and staff was unacceptable.

The Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust have expressed their regret at the tragedy, and confirmed that an agreement had been found.