THE parents of a baby boy who died from an undiagnosed heart defect on the day he was born have won a £65,000 payout from a hospital trust.
Mark Short and Keely Townsend, of Halfway, Sheffield, launched a civil claim against Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, after Oliver’s inquest found a medical blunder contributed to his death.
It found he had a congenital heart defect where the muscle’s two main blood vessels were switched around.
Mark said a consultant should have referred Keely for a scan in the run-up to birth to check on Oliver in the womb, but this measure was not carried out.
The 40-year-old said: “The consultant didn’t bother doing the tests but was alright to tell us both that we were 100 per cent clear,” he said.
“We didn’t know, they were so convincing, guaranteeing Oliver would be 100 per cent fine.”
Mark, who works for a DIY firm, said 35-year-old Keely’s family had a history of cardiac problems.
Oliver was the couple’s second son. Their oldest child Elliot, five, and one-year-old daughter Francesca were born healthily.
Mark said: “We want to ensure that people have an echocardiogram carried out on their babies if there is a history of congenital heart defects in their family, and to get it done quickly.
“The money has helped with closure. It’s about someone taking responsibility for that poor level of care that we were given.
“It’s destroyed our lives for the last three years.”
Oliver was born at Chesterfield Hospital’s maternity wing on December 1, 2009.
He died in an ambulance while being taken to Leeds for emergency care.
His inquest, held in Chesterfield last year, heard the infant would still have died even if transferred at the earliest opportunity, as the pre-birth scan was never performed.
A spokeswoman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals Trust said all their baby scans now include procedures to detect Oliver’s condition.
She said: “We offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to Mr Short and Miss Townsend, and apologise that the level of care provided was not of the standard we would expect.
“Staff have received appropriate training and assessment and all our foetal anomaly scans now provide the cardiac outflow detail to detect this type of condition.”