Baby George’s death must be a warning in MK

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The ‘preventable’ deaths of five newborn babies within just eight months has led to calls for massive improvements in foetal heart rate monitoring at the hospital maternity unit.

Leading the campaign are the brave parents of one of the babies who lost their lives.

Jonathan and Kirsty Stansfield’s son George was perfectly healthy until he became distressed during labour.

Midwives’ failures in monitoring his foetal heart rate led to 8lb 11oz George being born starved of oxygen.

He was rushed to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where he died at just 36 hours old. Our photograph shows Jonathan and Kirsty’s final cuddles with their son.

The couple are now striving to ensure the safety of future mums and babies.

Insurance broker Jonathan said: “Midwives are present at a labour to ensure that if things deviate from the norm appropriate action is taken. This didn’t happen for us.”

George was the third out of five babies to die between July 2013 and March 2014. All the circumstances were uncannily similar and all involved failures in heart rate monitoring.

The cases echoed a trio of baby deaths between 2007 and 2009, after which the maternity unit was put on special measures by the CQC.

Last week MK hospital admitted the care “was not good enough” in all the most recent five case and said improvements had been made.

This week the grieving parents, are demanding more.

“The fact that these tragedies happened just a few years after a similar series of baby deaths shows that long-term safety measures are needed,” said Jonathan.“Our aim is to raise awareness to ensure there is pressure on MK hospital to fulfil their promises on a long-term basis.”

He is urging all mums-to-be to ask that the foetal heart rate is checked every 15 minutes during the first stage of labour and every five minutes during the second. If there is any sign the rate is changing, they should demand a CTG monitor immediately.

The Stansfields now raise money for the Oxford neonatal unit. So far Team George has raised £80,000. Read their story in full on our website.