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King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have apologised to the parents of Finn Kennedy.

7 May 2024


King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have apologised to the parents of Finn Kennedy, a newborn baby who passed away in their care shortly after birth, due to multiple failings in the care received during his delivery.

The impending arrival of a baby leads to a whole range of emotions; it is both exciting to face the prospect of meeting your child for the first time but also frightening time for parents-to-be, as there is the uncertainty as to what will happen during the birth.
You put your faith in maternity units to take care of and ensure the safety of you and your child but it is the case, unfortunately, that care is not always of the standard that parents-to-be expect and deserve.
One such example of this is the tragic case of baby Finn, who was born in 2021 at the Oasis Birth Centre, which is part of the King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. In the report of Sky News, Finn’s parents, Ruth and Martin Kennedy, explain how they were badly let down by the staff at the Oasis Birth Centre, leading to devastating consequences. You can find the full report by accessing the following link:
Grieving parents who lost their son during birth demand nationwide guidance after hospital failings | UK News | Sky News

The report notes that midwives failed to identify that Finn was in distress during his birth. This resulted in his brain being starved of oxygen, a condition known as Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy. Staff at the centre only recorded eight heart-rate readings, falling significantly below the national guidelines of twenty-four, and in doing so, they did not ensure that Finn was delivered soon enough.
Unfortunately, baby Finn suffered severe brain damage, leading to the heartbreaking decision that no parent should have to experience- turning off his life support machine.
A Coroner’s inquest concluded on 25 April 2024, identifying serious failings within the birthing centre. This included a lack of leadership, and a failure to follow guidelines. Coroner Dr Julian Morris committed to giving all London-based birth centres written recommendations in the hope that they can learn from what happened to Finn and avoid it happening again.
In addition to an apology, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust “fully accept” the results of the inquest. Their Director of Midwifery, Tracey Carter, stated:
“In recent years, we have made positive changes to maternity services at the trust, including a review of midwifery staffing, enhanced training for midwives and ensuring more senior supervision in the department at all times.” It is hoped that this will help to prevent future tragedies like the huge loss suffered by the Kennedy family.

At Williamsons Solicitors, we have assisted numerous clients who have sadly suffered the avoidable death of a child due to issues during their birth, as well as assisting and supporting children who have survived but with significant, lifechanging injuries. We recognise that that, whilst no amount of compensation can ever truly compensate for the loss or injury of a child, it can be of significant benefit to families to get answers and justice for their loved ones.
When assisting bereaved families, this can include assisting with inquests, which are immensely upsetting and difficult for already grieving families.
If you would like to talk to a member of our experienced team about a possible clinical negligence claim, should you have suffered the loss or injury of your child during delivery, please contact us on 01482 323697.

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