Trust ‘truly sorry’ for baby death

By Press Release Oct 9, 2021

A grieving Island couple are calling for lessons to be learned after the Isle of Wight NHS Trust admitted causing their baby’s death.

Helen Brotherton (32), of Newport, visited St Mary’s Hospital on June 5 and 7, 2020, because her baby’s movement in the womb had reduced. On her second visit, Helen, whose baby was full-term, was induced but son, Troy, was stillborn.

Helen and her husband, Ed, are speaking out about their ordeal to highlight Baby Loss Awareness Week, after the trust admitted a breach of duty and that doctors should have offered an induction the first time Helen went to the hospital on June 5. On the balance of probabilities, if that had happened Troy would not have been stillborn.

On June 3 last year, Helen raised concerns that Troy’s movements had reduced with a community midwife. On June 5 she called the maternity ward concerned about further reduced movement. Following a scan of Troy’s heart rate, Helen was allowed home.
Two days later, when Helen returned to hospital, the baby’s heart rate could not be found and Troy was delivered stillborn the following day.
The Trust also admitted that Helen was not appropriately risk assessed during her midwife appointment, and she should have been advised to attend hospital straight away.

Helen, a baby room manager, said: “I was really worried that Troy’s movements had started to reduce. However, at no stage did it feel like staff seemed concerned. I tried not to fear the worst and stay positive but it was heartbreaking when we were told that we had lost Troy.
“Ed and I got to spend some time with him in hospital but it wasn’t enough. Having to leave Troy knowing we wouldn’t be able to bring him home to start our new lives together is something I don’t think we’ll ever get over.”

Ed, a principal operations manager, added: “Knowing things would probably have been different if Helen and Troy had received the care they deserved is the hardest thing to accept. It’s difficult not to feel upset and angry by what happened and not think of how Troy would be growing and developing if he hadn’t have been let down.

“We would give anything to turn back the clock and for things to be different but we know that’s not possible. All we can do now is share what happened to us to make other parents aware and urge hospitals to review their procedures and improve care where needed.”
A trust spokesman said: “We are truly sorry for the failings that led to Troy’s death.“Nothing we can say can take away the pain felt by his family, but we have worked closely with them to ensure that lessons have been learned from this tragedy.

“We can confirm that we have made changes and have now implemented the latest national Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle and have changed our practices accordingly.”

Justine Spencer, of Irwin Mitchell in Southampton, the couple’s lawyer, said: “Helen and Ed are understandably traumatised by Troy’s death. We thank the Trust for its swift admissions which has spared Helen and Ed the ordeal of having to prolong their case.
“It’s vital that lessons are learned to improve patient care for others. We’ll continue to campaign to improve maternity safety.”
Baby Loss Awareness Week runs from 9-15 October. For more information visit