Coroner's concerns about care for Wigan mum who lost baby

Laura Monks
Laura Monks
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A coroner has expressed numerous concerns about how a borough hospital was run while conducting the inquest of a baby lost shortly after delivery.


The three-day proceedings in Bolton into the death of Rueben Monks found Wigan Infirmary was short staffed on the day a Caesarean section was performed on mum Laura Monks in November 2011.

The consultant obstetrician at the time, Dr Mrinal Shah, admitted she and a trainee GP were the only senior staff working in the ward at that time, with Dr Shah acting as both consultant and registrar.

Coroner John Pollard put it to her that she was “not up to the job”.

As well as being alarmed by short staffing Mr Pollard said he was concerned about consultant paediatrician Dr Mark Robinson’s evidence.

The court heard Dr Robinson and a coroner had both agreed a post-mortem investigation should take place but this had not been done.

Confusingly, a midwife had also signed off a form saying Rueben was stillborn.

On Thursday afternoon the inquest heard from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust’s governance lead for maternity and child health services Catherine Stanford and its head of midwifery.

The inquest heard on Wednesday that it was “likely” Rueben would have survived if he had been delivered sooner. Evidence was given by two leading medical experts.

Laura and her partner Peter Winrow, from Aspull, received a £40,000 payout from WWL in 2016 after the hospital admitted its care fell short.

They also found out that an investigation was begun into Rueben's death but as parents they were not told about it, a policy that has since been changed by WWL.

Coroner Mr Pollard was expected to deliver his conclusion on Friday afternoon.