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Southend Hospital medics left our baby to die over weekend
A DEVASTATED couple believe their baby died after medics refused to deliver him during a weekend – despite knowing something was wrong.
Alex Stevens and his partner Cheryl Hurley were looking forward to the birth of their first child, who was due on Monday, June 25.
They were devastated to be told a routine scan on Thursday, June 21, showed there was a problem with the placenta providing blood supply to their child.
The astonished couple were told they would have to wait four days until doctors and nurses could deliver their son, Hayden, due to a lack of staff and equipment over the weekend.
They begged hospital staff to deal with the problem, but were sent home with assurances the problem wasn’t serious. The child died and his heartbroken mother was forced to give birth to her stillborn son three days later.
The distraught 35-year-old mum was too upset to talk about her loss, but Mr Stevens, 40, from Eastwood, said he believed his son would still be alive if he had been delivered as soon as staff noticed the problem.
He said: “The consultants told us they could not deliver him because of a lack of staff and equipment and they don’t induce people over the weekend.
“We begged the doctors to keep Cheryl in over the weekend and deliver our baby, but they refused and sent her home.
“They knew there was a problem, but they didn’t do anything about it.”
Bosses at the hospital have launched an internal investigation into what happened, but it is little comfort to the couple who had a nursery, and everything else they needed, ready to welcome their baby into the world.
Alex added: “If they had delivered him over the weekend, I feel sure he still would have been here. The NHS is supposed to be a 24-hour service, and I think what has happened to us is a direct result of the budget cuts and lack of funding.
“We are both devastated and very angry about the way it was handled.”
Cheryl’s mum Chris Nice, 61, who was with the couple when her grandson was delivered, said: “It is a terrible thing to happen. Hayden was absolutely beautiful when he was born.”
Sue Hardy, director of nursing at Southend Hospital, said they could not comment further until the investigation concluded, but added: “We are extremely sorry to hear of the sad loss of Cheryl and Alex’s baby.
“We would welcome the chance to meet with the parents to explain to them the form this investigation will take.”