Mother loses home birth damages claim after doctor diagnosed cramps

A MOTHER who gave birth at home just 45 minutes after a GP left, telling her she only had stomach cramps, yesterday lost her damages claim.

Mandy Parkes, who was 31 weeks pregnant, had a doctor called out after she felt sharp pains in her lower abdomen. GP John Mann said she had stomach cramps and asked her to ring back if she experienced any more pain.

But 45 minutes later, Mrs Parkes delivered her daughter Hannah on the bathroom floor of her home in Clay Cross, Derbyshire.

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The baby had difficulty breathing and was only resuscitated after being rushed to hospital.

Hannah was left with cerebral palsy and now, at the age of 15, goes to special school.

Parents Mandy and David Parkes sued Dr Mann, from the Blue Dykes Surgery in Clay Cross, for clinical negligence.

But delivering his judgment at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, Mr Justice Openshaw said: “Although I have great sympathy for the claimant and her family I find that Dr Mann was not negligent in this case. If every doctor was required to send to hospital every patient who presented with any possibility of pre-term delivery this would encourage defensive medicine of the most undesirable kind and the maternity units of hospitals would be overwhelmed.”

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