£27k for our dead baby is an insult, says Lincolnshire couple
A devastated couple who received £27,000 in compensation after their twin boy was stillborn have labelled the payout an "absolute insult".
Doctors admit Alfie Bee may have survived if more medical tests had taken place and an emergency Caesarean had been carried out sooner.
Now, parents Jane High and Daniel Bee, from Coningsby, say they want hospital bosses to promise that no other family will suffer the same ordeal.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust admitted a breach of duty, has apologised to the family and paid damages.
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Alfie and his twin brother William were delivered on December 12, 2009.
William was born with brain damage, although there is no proof this is the result of medical failings.
Five days earlier Miss High was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia – a pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure.
She was given a steroid injection at Boston's Pilgrim Hospital and sent home. Four days later, she began bleeding. Miss High, who was 29 weeks pregnant at the time, said: "I was haemorrhaging and was taken back to hospital in an ambulance.
"When I got to hospital they monitored me at first and then the care completely stopped.
"I was in absolute agony. I called for help but was just settled down."
Following admission, Miss High developed contractions. Foetal heart monitoring was performed until around 10pm, at which time the machine was disconnected.
Later, Miss High went to the toilet but was unable to. It was then doctors realised the babies were close to being born.
On examination she was found to be fully dilated.
A decision was made for an emergency Caesarean section at 1.25am on December 12.
Alfie was stillborn at 2.21am and William was born at 2.22am. Miss High, 34, said her family will never recover from the trauma.
"You can't put any price on a child's life but £27,000 is an absolute insult," she said.
"I took legal action and spoke out because it's not about the money. The amount we received was an insult, it's because I want answers.
"I want to stop this happening to anyone else. What happened to the doctor and midwife who stopped monitoring me? Have they been made accountable or have steps been taken to stop this neglect happening again?
"I will never be able to see my baby Alfie grow up and that nightmare has kept me awake for the last three years.
"I have been given a lot of counselling and I realised I kept getting pregnant because of the grief. I wanted to fill the gap Alfie has left."
William, almost 3, is now an older brother to Emily, 2, and 9-month-old Megan.
"I am so grateful for having William but every time I look at him I think of Alfie," said Miss High. "William has missed out on having his twin brother and that breaks my heart."
Mr Bee, 30, said: "When we look at family pictures with William in, we can't help but think Alfie should be in them."
Spokesman for United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, Clare White, said: "We apologise unreservedly to Miss High and Mr Bee for the errors that occurred during the delivery of Alfie Bee in 2009.
"We have made changes in our practices, including improving communication between different levels of staff. We have amended our guidelines and carried out refresher training for staff around pregnancy-induced hypertension."
The family's solicitor Andrew Cragg, from Langleys, said: "Had monitoring been in place and appropriate advice sought, it's likely it would have prompted an earlier decision to perform an emergency caesarean section."