Settlement reached over baby tragedy

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The family of a baby boy who died after being starved of oxygen when midwives failed to notice he had been born under bed sheets has reached an out-of-court settlement with hospital bosses.

Maninder Singh was born on October 23, 2008, at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester following a labour during which his mother Geeta, who suffered from diabetes, opted for an epidural, leaving her unable to feel anything from the waist down.

When Maninder was delivered, medical evidence suggests he was already in a poor condition but the delay in staff noticing and acting to resuscitate him meant he suffered further avoidable injury, an inquest in Manchester heard earlier this year. He remained in the intensive care unit throughout his life and died on May 4, 2009.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who are representing the family, said that an internal investigation by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust found midwives repeatedly failed to check Mrs Singh’s progress or effectively monitor the baby’s heart rate.

In April, Manchester Coroner Nigel Meadows recorded a narrative verdict in which he highlighted eight specific failings which led to the baby’s death.

Earlier that month, hospital bosses finally admitted that medical staff had failed in the duty of care to Maninder and Mrs Singh, who herself died of multiple organ failure after the birth of the couple’s second child in January 2010.

Sharon Williams, from Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mr Singh and his family have fought tirelessly in the memory of a much loved little boy who died under horrific circumstances as a result of medical failings and, today, justice has been done – but this is a bittersweet victory.

“No apology and no amount of money will ever replace what they have lost and they only hope that lessons have been learnt and future such tragedies prevented as they look to move forward with their lives.”

Maninder’s father, Kamaljeet, from Urmston, said: “We feel that in some small way justice has been done.”

Ms Williams said the family 
still wanted to know why there had been delays in admitting liability and apologising after an internal investigation in July 2009 identified “key failings in the care his wife and son received”.