NHS trust fined £800,000 after admitting failures over baby Wynter Andrews who died 23 minutes after birth

27 January 2023, 11:03 | Updated: 27 January 2023, 11:22

Sarah and Gary Andrews held baby Wynter as she died in their arms
Sarah and Gary Andrews held baby Wynter as she died in their arms. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

An NHS trust has been fined £800,000 after admitting failings in caring for a baby who died after 23 minutes.

Wynter Andrews died in her parents' arms shortly after being born at Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham in 2019 as staff desperately tried to resuscitate her.

After admitting guilt over the death, Nottingham University Hospitals has been fined over its failures. Its punishment was reduced from £1.2m for the guilty plea.

A judge said there were "systemic failures" which were "more than sufficient" to cause harm to the baby and her mother, Sarah.

"As first-time parents, all we ever wanted was to bring our precious baby home," Sarah said outside Nottingham Crown Court after the trust admitted two counts of failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in harm and loss.

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"Management at the trust were repeatedly warned by staff about safety at the unit, but they failed to act. They were repeatedly warned by bereaved and harmed families, but they failed to listen and to learn.

"They were repeatedly told by different investigative bodies over many years about maternity safety concerns at the trust, yet they failed to make the critical changes needed.

"We hope that this criminal prosecution against the trust for its unsafe care will finally be the jolt they need to prioritise patient safety and result in meaningful change."

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An inquest into Wynter's death found she suffered a loss of oxygen flow to the brain, which staff at the hospital could have prevented.

Anthony May, the trust's chief executive, said: "We are truly sorry for the pain and grief that we caused Mr and Mrs Andrews due to failings in the maternity care we provided.

"We let them down at what should have been a joyous time in their lives."

The court heard the trust did not ensure staff were appropriately aware and trained over policies about caring for expecting mothers and delivering babies.

The failures were made worse by a lack of staff.