A mother has told of her anguish after her baby was stillborn, just two days after doctors dismissed her concerns and sent her home.
Madison Goodwin, from Southend in Essex, was 36 weeks pregnant when she attended Southend University Hospital in January for a scan amid concerns about her baby’s growth.
The 18-year-old was told she needed an emergency caesarean section after results revealed she was “at risk” and her baby was too small.
However, while she was sitting in the waiting room, doctors told her that they had confused her with another patient who had the same name and due date.
A second scan that same day showed her baby was kicking normally.
Ms Goodwin was sent home and asked to return two days later for another scan. However, at that appointment, she was told that her baby had no heartbeat.
Madison Goodwin (pictured), from Southend in Essex, was 36 weeks pregnant when she attended Southend University Hospital on January 11 for a scan following concerns about her baby’s growth.
After the results revealed she was “at risk” and her baby was too small, she was immediately told she needed an emergency C-section. But while she was sitting in the waiting room, doctors told her that she had been confused with another patient with the same name and due date. A second scan that same day showed her baby was kicking normally. In the photo, Ms. Goodwin with her partner Matteo Furiello
The 18-year-old was sent home and asked to return two days later for another scan. However, on January 13 they told him that he had no heartbeat. Mrs. Goodwin was induced and her daughter, Valentina, was stillborn. In the photo, Mrs. Goodwin with Valentina.
Mrs. Goodwin was induced and her daughter, Valentina, was stillborn.
She said: “I’m still quite numb and in shock – it happened so quickly when she was here and suddenly she was gone.”
Her mother Dawn, who claimed her daughter was continually “deceived”, has now called for a “thorough investigation”. investigation into Southend Hospital’.
Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the site, said they had launched a “full investigation” into the events and were in “close contact” with the family.
Stillbirths (when a baby is stillborn after six months of being in the womb) occur in around one in every 200 births in England.
In the early stages of pregnancy, Mrs Goodwin suffered a violent illness and was admitted to hospital with dehydration.
After frequently returning to the maternity unit, she was told she might have kidney stones and then a water infection.
“She wasn’t well and no one seemed to have an answer,” Dawn said.
But in December, when Goodwin lost her mucus plug (a buildup of mucus that seals the entrance to the uterus), she was rushed by ambulance to Basildon Hospital, which has more advanced facilities for premature babies.
The plug of mucus that normally comes out at the beginning of labor, sometimes tinged with blood, usually indicates that the cervix is beginning to dilate.
Doctors discovered that her baby was smaller than expected but that she was not in labor. Mrs Goodwin was discharged and referred back to Southend Hospital.
At a follow-up appointment at Southend Hospital, doctors diagnosed her with streptococcus B, a common infection that is usually transmitted in the intestine or vagina without symptoms.
The infection does not require treatment until labor begins, at which time antibiotics should be given to reduce the risk of the baby developing it.
After the stillbirth, Goodwin and her partner, Matteo Furiello, spent two days with Valentina before she was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital for an autopsy.
The couple is now waiting to celebrate their daughter’s funeral.
Mrs Goodwin said: ‘The bereavement midwives who have supported me through my loss have been incredible.
‘But since I left the hospital on the 17th, I have had no further direct contact with the hospital.
“The idea of other people going through something so horrible is just as horrifying – it happens so often that it is simply overlooked.”
“This has caused lifelong pain and trauma and I want people to know if it will prevent it from happening again.”
Dawn has called for additional procedures to protect mothers and babies, such as having two or more consultants decide on a treatment plan.
He added: “If there were more controls, more scans, this might not have happened and my granddaughter would be here.”
‘We have received a lot of support online from friends and family and even from other women who have had similar experiences at Southend Hospital.
After the stillbirth, Goodwin and her partner, Matteo Furiello, spent two days with Valentina before she was taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital for a full autopsy. The couple is now waiting to celebrate their daughter’s funeral. Meanwhile, her mother Dawn (pictured right) has called for additional procedures to now be put in place to protect mothers and babies, such as having two or more consultants decide on a treatment plan.
Care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year rated Southend University Hospital’s maternity service as “requiring improvement”. Such a ruling means there is a risk of avoidable harm to mothers and babies, according to CQC criteria.
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The graph shows the NHS trusts in England that recorded the biggest drop in midwives between September 2022 and July 2023, the latest data available. Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust has seen its midwifery workforce fall by 12.8 per cent over this nine-month period, while Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has 8.8 per cent fewer staff compared to 10 months earlier , NHS workforce data shows.
“We want a full investigation to find out what went wrong and I will fight to find them negligent and sue them – something good has to come out of this.”
“No compensation will bring Valentina back, but if we can prevent this from happening to other babies, we will.”
Last year, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated Southend University Hospital’s maternity service as ‘requiring improvement’, meaning there is a risk of avoidable harm to mothers and babies.
This rating was awarded as part of the CQC’s new inspection programme, launched in the wake of hundreds of baby deaths at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, which a two-year investigation blamed on shortfalls in staffing and training, as well as midwives who were determined to keep cesarean section rates low.
Diane Sarkar, director of nursing and quality at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘Our deepest condolences go out to the family at this difficult time.
‘We would like to reassure you that we have now launched a full investigation and that all stillbirths are automatically reviewed in line with national guidelines.
“We are in close contact with the family and are keeping them informed of the progress of the investigation.”