In June 2020 at Basildon University Hospital Connie Copperthwaite-Jackson’s baby was stillborn and following an internal hospital report, it was found Ronnie died of hypoxia. The lack of oxygen was likely caused by her placenta which had abrupted (pulled away from the wall of the uterus).
Towards the end of her pregnancy she “knew something wasn’t right”, and she wished someone had listened to her which might have meant her son would still be here today.
The report highlighted missed opportunities to detect possible issues such as pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy. This condition can cause the mother’s blood pressure to rise which can sometimes be dangerously high.
The quality care commission upgraded the trust’s rating to “requires improvement” but again staffing issues were mentioned in the report.
A spokesperson for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has said their thoughts and deepest sympathies go to Ronnie Sullivan’s family. They say they have learnt from these serious incidents and continue to learn from them. Following the recruitment of more maternity staff the trust has secured almost £2 million in funding for further recruitment and for the development of staff.
Tozers' clinical negligence specialist Stuart Bramley writes: “This tragedy really should not have happened. Pre-eclampsia is a condition which should be regularly checked-for in all pregnant women and if identified, appropriate care should be instituted straight away. Although the Trust have addressed staffing difficulties, there is no suggestion that Ronnie’s death led directly from having insufficient clinicians to check her blood pressure. Similarly, the early signs of placental abruption should have been picked up far sooner, giving Ronnie a better chance of being saved. I do hope the additional £2 million prevents similar tragedies at Mid- and South Essex in the future”.
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