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Hospital accused of ‘cover up’ after review finds failings in delivery of baby born with brain damage

Hospital authorities in Wales have been accused of attempting to cover up failings in the delivery of a baby born with significant brain damage.

Gethin Channon, who was born on 25 March 2019 at Singleton Hospital, in Swansea, suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a severe disability that requires 24/7 care.

There were complications during his birth, due to him being in an abnormal position that prevented normal delivery, and he was eventually born via caesarean section.

An independent review commissioned by Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB), which manages Singleton Hospital, found “several adverse features” surrounding Gethin’s delivery that were omitted from or “inaccurately specified” in the hospital’s internal report.

The investigation, carried out by obstetrician Dr Bill Kirkup, said SBUHB had “significantly” downplayed the “suboptimal” care received by Gethin and his mother, Sian, and had erroneously attributed his condition to a blocked windpipe.

It also suggests that amendments were retrospectively made to examination notes taken by staff during the course of Ms Channon’s labour.

The family said that SBUHB, which was flagged by national inspectors in the months after Gethin’s birth due to “concerns” over its ability to deliver “safe and effective” maternity care, had “covered up” the failings in their case.

SBUHB said it had been “working tirelessly” with the family to investigate and address their concerns, and that it would be inappropriate to comment on specific allegations as the process was ongoing.

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Source: The Independent, 2 September 2022


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