Hospital neglect contributes to baby’s death

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The parents of a Wigan boy who died shortly after birth have said they have got “what they have been fighting for” after a coroner found that failings of medical and midwifery staff contributed significantly to their son’s death.

The three-day inquiry carried out at Bolton Coroner’s Court determined that Rueben Monks was not a stillbirth, despite medical documents to the contrary signed by a midwife at Wigan Infirmary at the time of his death.

Reuben’s mum, Laura Monks, delivered him by Caesarean section back in November 2011 but only now, almost seven years on, has she received answers to question marks about why her son died.

Coroner John Pollard, in an extremely rare conclusion, said that the infant’s death was contributed to by the “neglect” of medical and midwifery staff and by the “delays in providing an emergency delivering”.

Laura previously explained how it took five hours for a Caesarean to be undertaken and that as Rueben was a category one case, she should have been seen within 10 minutes of arrival.

“It’s not negligence, it’s neglect,” she said. “It’s a massive difference. It’s disgusting the way we have been treated.”

Stephen Jones from Leigh Day, the Manchester solicitors representing the family, said: “The most important thing for the family was finding that Rueben lived. They wanted him considered as a person, as their son and that’s happened today.

“The reason of the conclusion, I cannot stress how rare it is for a coroner to find neglect in a context like this because neglect is very narrowly defined in a legal sense.

“There were team failings and individual failings.”