Little Pippa's death was preventable, says coroner


Jonny Drury

A grandmother from Guilsfield says families should never have to go through what her family has, after a coroner concluded her one-day-old granddaughter’s death was preventable.

Pippa Griffiths died on April 27 last year from a group B strep infection, the most common cause of meningitis in new born babies.

Shropshire Coroner John Ellery was told at an inquest into the death last week that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust had admitted failings in providing her mother, Kayleigh, with information that could have prevented the death.

The coroner heard she was not given a leaflet on the potential warning signs and there was no midwife visit within 24 hours.

Head of midwifery at SATH, Sarah Jamieson, said a script has been created to ensure the correct questions are asked of mothers who have concerns.

She also said if an inquiry had taken place, then Pippa would have been admitted for treatment.

Pete and Avril Griffiths, parents of Colin, Pippa’s father, have spoken to the County Times about the ordeal the family has gone through.

Avril said: “It has been awful.

“It is nearly 12 months since Pippa died and Kayleigh hasn’t stopped fighting for this and for an inquest.

“She has been told lie after lie, and has wanted answers.

“Kayleigh has pushed for this and people should be aware of Group B Strep and given more information.

“A test kit is £35 and we want that to be on the NHS, so people have a choice over this.”

At the inquest, it emerged that notes of Kayleigh’s call to the midwife unit where she raised concerns were not recorded until 16 hours after the call.

Mr Ellery recorded a narrative conclusion and said Pippa’s death was preventable.

Avril said the family only received an apology at the inquest and said Pippa would never be forgotten.

She added: “How many more babies must die before something is done about it?

“They did apologise on the day of the inquest and they admitted there had been failings.

“No family should have to go through what has happened and Pippa will never be forgotten,”  Avril told the County Times.

Sarah Jamieson, head of midwifery at SaTH, said: “We are truly sorry we were unable to provide the appropriate care that would have prevented Pippa’s death. We have apologised to Pippa’s parents and we repeat that apology again today. We know nothing can make up for the loss of a child. However, we have carried out specific actions to address the issues this tragic case has highlighted to ensure we learn from these devastating events.”

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