Peterborough: Mum 'Ignored' By Hospital

10 June 2013, 06:00

A Peterborough mum's taking legal action against the city's hospital, claiming she was 'ignored' by staff.

27-year-old Lucy Copland says she was told her baby was lazy, or that she was paranoid, by staff at Peterborough City Hospital, when she said she couldn't feel him moving.

Lucy says she'd experienced a miscarriage before, so when she couldn't see Alfie move on the scan she says she felt 'petrified'.

She explained that staff said he had a heartbeat and that he was probably moving when Lucy was sleeping, so she felt the hospital were telling her there was nothing to worry about.

Lucy told Heart she made more than 22 calls to the hospital, telling them about her concerns that she hadn't feel her baby move for 4 weeks. She explained that she felt like she was "standing in a room full of people, screaming your head off and no-one's listening and nobody's interested."

She said the hospital eventually offered her a scan, and she was called back and told there were "alarm bells all over the pregnancy".

Lucy said the hospital told her the baby was probably disabled, and wouldn't survive labour. She says they then advised her to end her pregnancy. She says she felt like it was "any Mum's worst broke my heart".

Lucy told Heart she then had every test she could to check what was wrong with Alfie, but all the tests came back OK, so she says she decided to go through with the birth.

Alfie was born by cesarean section with some of his limbs fused together, so he couldn't move his legs. Lucy said the hospital tried to help him but he died before she came around from the operation.

Chris Wilkinson, director of care quality and chief nurse at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: Firstly, the Trust would like to offer our most sincere condolences to the Copland family at this sad time.
It is not appropriate to comment specifically about Lucy Copland's experience, however the concerns of Mrs Copland were raised through the Trust's formal complaints system. We have completed a full investigation followed by a meeting with the family to present our findings.
The Trust will continue to offer its guidance to the family should they need any further advice.
"As part of the complaints procedure the scans we undertook were reviewed. We are confident that all of the usual care protocols were followed and there were no obvious identifiable anomalies until the scan that led to the referral for Mrs Copland to a specialist within the Trust.
"There are certain conditions that are progressive and do not become noticeable until later in a pregnancy and when a feature was noticed by the specialist during the scan he referred Mrs Copland to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham which has special expertise in rare foetal anomalies.