Sheffield mum's horror as call reveals her miscarried baby was left in Chesterfield Hospital morgue for a year

“Our baby had been left and forgotten about in the morgue for over a year.”
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A couple from Sheffield have said they are considering taking legal action against Chesterfield Royal Hospital after their miscarried baby that they believed had been “sensitively disposed of” was found in the mortuary over a year later.

Ellie Taylor, aged 27, received the horrific news during a phone call from the hospital on Monday, November 21, after more than 15 months believing that her baby had been cremated or buried.

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Further to the phone call, the hospital’s director of midwifery also sent a letter the following day with her ‘sincere apologies’. The letter, seen by The Star, read: “I would like to offer my sincere apologies that, following your miscarriage you were led to believe that your baby’s remains had been sensitively disposed of when this was not the case. Your baby remained with us in our mortuary.”

The ultrasound scan taken at 11 weeks - when Ellie was told the baby had not survivedThe ultrasound scan taken at 11 weeks - when Ellie was told the baby had not survived
The ultrasound scan taken at 11 weeks - when Ellie was told the baby had not survived

Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is carrying out a review of what happened, which may take up to 60 working days.

The bereaved mum-of-one, who lives in Halfway, claims that during a meeting with hospital officials on Wednesday she was told that the hospital had discovered what had happened six weeks ago, but they were unable to contact Ellie until this week.

Ellie said: “All they keep saying is they’re sorry, they couldn’t get in touch with me. But they could have written a letter asking us to call them as a matter of urgency.

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“Our baby had been left and forgotten about in the morgue for over a year.”

Ellie found out her baby no longer had a heartbeat during an ultrasound scan 11-weeks into her pregnancy, on August 2, 2022. The hospital said they could either hold a burial or a cremation, or Ellie and her partner could make private arrangements. 

However, in the days following the miscarriage, the couple experienced a further two deaths in the family. It was around two weeks later when they called the hospital back to organise private arrangements that they were told their baby had already been sensitivity disposed of.

“When we lost the baby, we got told that it had been disposed of,” Ellie said. “I suffered really badly with depression - I felt like it was our fault for not making a decision on the same day, or for not calling sooner. I suffered a lot. 

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“Then when I got that phone call, I’m now having to grieve again. I literally suffered and went through what I went through because of them, and my baby’s still there. The baby’s not been given any dignity, no respect, it’s disgusting. I'm so angry.”

Chesterfield Hospital has apologised to mum-of-one Ellie and her partner as hospital bosses launch a review into how their miscarried baby was left in the morgue for more than 15 months.Chesterfield Hospital has apologised to mum-of-one Ellie and her partner as hospital bosses launch a review into how their miscarried baby was left in the morgue for more than 15 months.
Chesterfield Hospital has apologised to mum-of-one Ellie and her partner as hospital bosses launch a review into how their miscarried baby was left in the morgue for more than 15 months.

She added: “I am looking at taking legal action on it because it's appalling, and I wouldn't want anyone else to receive a phone call like I did to say that 'we forgot about your baby and we’re really sorry'. I don’t think sorry really makes up for that.”

Since the phone call, the couple have organised funeral arrangements with Michael Fogg Funeral Director who is kindly providing its service free of charge to the family.

Kevin Sargen, medical director at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said: “We are aware of the matter and are extremely sorry for what has happened. It is always a tragic situation to experience such a loss and for this, I pass on my sincere condolences to the family.

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“We have written to the family concerning the investigation which we are conducting. We can’t comment further on the outcome of this until we have concluded but we offer assurances that we are taking this extremely seriously and will continue to liaise with the family to support them at this difficult time.”