FE v St George’s University Hospitals NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 553 (QB) (18 March 2016)

“FE was born at 03.16 on 25th January 2001 at the Defendant’s hospital, St George’s Hospital. It is agreed that he suffered a period of acute hypoxic-ischemic insult at the end of labour which led to neurological damage. It is also agreed that if he had been born at or before 03.11 he would not have suffered such damage. This is the trial of his claim for damages for clinical negligence in the period leading up to his birth.” (paragraph 1)

“The central matter to be determined can be summarised as follows, when should JE have been assessed by an obstetrician of appropriate seniority and how quickly after that assessment should FE have been delivered. The Claimant’s case is that, on receiving appropriate information from the midwife, either the obstetrician could and should have left another patient, (X), sooner in order to reach JE to carry out the assessment and commence the delivery earlier or that the delivery should have occurred more quickly after the assessment was actually carried out. The Defendant’s case is that the obstetrician did all that could reasonably have been required of her and that the injuries suffered by FE were in all likelihood caused by a “cord event” and therefore not as a result of anything done or not done by the medical staff.” (paragraph 2)

“…an extremely busy night shift which had a number of patients who required care beyond the routine of a ‘normal’ delivery in addition to cases which required attention in the A&E department…” (paragraph 36 ii)

“…the standard of record keeping was unsatisfactory, notwithstanding the workload…” (paragraph 36 iii)

“…the fact is that FE should and could have been delivered before 03.11…” (paragraph 36 xi)

“Notwithstanding the pressures of a busy labour ward, the system of communication and the response to messages sent between the teams was inadequate and failed to ensure that a reasonable standard of care was provided to FE and his mother in the period before his birth. In the result and for the reasons given above the Claimant’s claim succeeds.” (paragraph 37)