Mum Lost Baby After Hospital Dismissed Labour Pains As Constipation And Called Her Time Waster

A distraught mum lost her newborn baby after her severe labour pains were dismissed as constipation by a hospital staff.

Joanne Farra gave birth to little Ava with serious brain damage after being starved of oxygen in July 2014.

After waiting three years for, bosses at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Manchester, have now apologised for the failings in mum Joanne Farrar’s care during the delivery. Grieving parents Joanne and James, say they now want to ensure the same mistakes are not repeated.

Joanne, 41, said she knew she was in labour when she started to experience severe pain and discomfort three years ago. But when she arrived at Stepping Hill in Stockport, doctors reportedly said she had an infection and insisted she was constipated. The mum-of-two claims she was dismissed by one medic as a ‘time-waster.’

It was only when Joanne suffered a bleed her labour was confirmed. Her daughter Ava was born via a caesarean section. But the parents were devastated to learn their baby had suffered severe brain damage during delivery.

 Mum Joanne Farrar and her daughter baby Ava, who died in July 2014

They were later forced to make the heart-breaking decision to turn off their daughter’s life-support machine at the Royal Oldham Hospital on July 12. A post-mortem indicated that while Ava was fully developed at the time of her birth, evidence suggested she had been deprived of oxygen.

Joanne, from Ashbourne in the Peak District, said: ‘I did everything I was told by hospital staff, so was stunned when I had some issues with them.

Labour lord to quit amid questions over expenses ‘At one point I overheard a doctor refusing to examine me and calling me a “time-waster”, while it was also suggested that I have a natural birth despite the issues with my previous pregnancies. It was an incredibly upsetting time.’

An inquest into her death concluded Ava died of natural causes, contributed to by neglect.

Joanne added: ‘Having had two children already, I knew what I was experiencing was undoubtedly labour. ‘I managed to get myself to hospital and told the doctors and midwives, but they claimed it was just a urinary tract infection. ‘To make matters worse, when tests came back clear I was then told I was constipated and given medication for it.

I was in utter disbelief as no one was listening to me.’

Following their daughter’s death the couple instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them hold Stepping Hill to account. Lawyers managed to secure a settlement as well as a written apology from Ann Barnes, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust. The letter said: ‘I deeply regret that the standard of care that your daughter received was inadequate and I would like to take this time to express my deepest sympathy on the loss of your daughter and the distress that this and subsequent investigations have caused you and your family.’

A spokesman for the trust added: ‘We failed to provide a reasonable standard of antenatal care for Joanne and baby Ava and for that we are deeply sorry.


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