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Exclusive: father says NHS Tayside failings led to daughter’s death

Montrose Infirmary.
Montrose Infirmary.

A grieving father has accused NHS Tayside of systematic failings that led to the death of his newborn child in an Angus maternity unit.

Nevaeh Stewart died soon after she was born at Montrose Royal Infirmary’s community midwifery unit (CMU) in 2012, despite the efforts of specialists who arrived to save her.

A 14-day inquiry into Nevaeh’s death concluded at Forfar Sheriff Court on Thursday, where parents Gary and Kimberly Stewart made their submissions on the evidence of 16 experts and eye witnesses to the September 30 tragedy.

The inquiry had previously heard an ambulance took two hours to arrive from Ninewells Hospital after midwives called to alert specialists to Nevaeh’s “pale and floppy” appearance within ten minutes of her birth.

In his submission, the depute fiscal said the tragedy had prompted NHS Tayside to adopt telemedicine screens so specialists can see newborns at CMUs and, this year, implemented a 999-style response for similar emergencies.

But Mr Stewart, from Auchenblae, said the lack of the latter option meant his daughter “did not have a chance she should have.”

Mother, Kimberly, said: “Had I been told in 2008 when I was pregnant with our second child, that I’d have to wait an unlimited amount of time for specialist help if something went wrong with the birth … as a mother of one, and for the baby, I wouldn’t have risked myself.”

Sheriff Di Emidio will issue a written judgement in due course.

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