Northern Ireland news

Co Down woman to receive substantial damages over alleged failures in end of life care for her baby

The High Court in Belfast

A CO Down mother is to receive "substantial" undisclosed damages to settle legal action over alleged failures in her hospital treatment and the care provided to her baby.

Christina Campbell brought medical negligence lawsuits after her four-month-old daughter Jessica died with a rare genetic disorder.

The claims against the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the Northern Ireland Hospice were resolved at the High Court.

Baby Jessica was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 days shortly after she was born on December 31, 2016.

She had a congenital heart defect, bilateral cleft lip and palate, and experienced feeding and respiratory difficulties.

Jessica was discharged from hospital with a home-based end of life care plan which included respite referral to the hospice.

She passed away on May 2, 2017.

Mrs Campbell, from Ballygowan, sued the trust over the pre-birth treatment she received at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

It was claimed that a failure to provide her with amniocentesis testing while pregnant meant the diagnosis of Trisomy 13 went undetected.

Lawyers for the family also highlighted concerns about baby Jessica's hospice treatment, alleging delays in providing a specific feeding plan and saline nebulizer, uncertainty about the provision of humidified oxygen and the use of a defective feeding pump.

Damages were sought for an alleged ineffective end of life care.

Mrs Campbell's solicitor confirmed that both cases have been settled on undisclosed terms.

Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law, said the outcome "provides vindication" for the family.

"It is hoped that lessons can now be learned to ensure no other family has to go through a similar experience."

In a statement, Mrs Campbell stressed that no settlement will ever bring back her daughter or compensate for her loss.

"We as a family have suffered immensely throughout this process," she said.

"I promised Jessica I would be her voice in ensuring the truth was found. Today I can say I have kept my promise to her."


Northern Ireland news