For some time now, in conjunction with Essex-based solicitors BTMK, Byfield have been championing the cause of Tracy Godwin whose new-born son Tom was allowed to die due to an Essex hospital’s resuscitation policy in 2010.
We drew the case to the attention of the Evening Standard’s veteran court reporter, Paul Cheston, who looked into it.
Earlier in the year he revealed the hospital, Southend University, had finally paid her compensation after four long years of torment.
Then, at the start of April, after BTMK had powerfully represented Tracy at Tom’s inquest, Paul revealed Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray’s stinging criticism of the Hospital and the care it provided.
Paul wrote: “A coroner has attacked care at an NHS hospital trust where staff refused to resuscitate a baby born prematurely at 22 weeks.
“She found that Southend University Hospital in Essex had failed on four specific grounds, prompting doctors to issue an unreserved apology to the mother.”
Ms Godwin said: “This ordeal has brought about significant change at the hospital and the fact that no other mother will go through what I went through is a positive that I will cherish.”
The case raises an important issue about hospital policies to resuscitate premature babies. It may well not have done so at all without the collaboration between BTMK and Byfield – the latest of many.
As Johanne Turner, clinical negligence partner at BTMK Solicitors in Southend, who acted for Tracy Godwin put it: “This was one of the worst cases of clinical negligence arising out of maternity care that I have ever worked on.
“Four years on from the tragic death of Tracy’s baby I am absolutely delighted for my client that she has received an admittance of fault and an apology from the hospital. As a result of this case the hospital has completely overhauled its procedures and training so that something as awful as this can never happen again. I cannot do anything better in my job than help protect mothers for the future.”
Tracy’s case received significant coverage in a number of other publications, including a two page interview in the Daily Mail’s Femail section.