A MUM believes her baby girl would still be alive if she had been listened to and correctly monitored while in labour at Warrington Hospital.

Angela Owens has launched legal action against the hospital after she had a placental abruption meaning baby Ella died before she was delivered at the hospital's maternity unit on December 21, 2013.

The 30-year-old was due to be induced on December 22 as Ella was a week and six days overdue but while out shopping with her partner Paul Humphreys the day before she experienced a sudden onset of pain.

She rang the labour ward who told her to come in straight away.

“I knew that something wasn’t right because I didn’t feel like it had with my previous pregnancy,” she said.

“We waited for the midwife and when she came and examined me she said I was only two centimetres dilated and that I should go home and take some paracetamol.”

But Angela, of Houston Gardens, Chapelford, refused to go home and was taken to a room where she asked for pain relief but was told by the midwife that it was too early for gas and air who then went to get two co-codamol.

“She told me to get in the pool to relive the pain so I did,” Angela, who has two other daughters, Tiffany, aged eight, and four-month-old Hope.

“After a while I was in excruciating pain so I pulled the emergency cord and demanded she get me out. She started drying me down with a towel but I told her to just make sure my baby was ok.

“She checked but she couldn’t find a heartbeat.”

Angela says the baby’s heartbeat had only been checked when she arrived at hospital and while she was in the birthing pool but this was less than national guidelines recommended.

“I was just in shock. They hadn’t listened to me at all and then this had happened. If I had been put on a monitor straight away it would have been different,” Angela said.

“I can’t believe that Ella was alive on arrival at the hospital and was alive in the birthing pool and then she was gone. There could have been a different outcome if I was checked at the right times.”

Ella was delivered at 11pm that night.

Angela and 31-year-old Paul are now seeking a clinical negligence claim with law firm Irwin Mitchell.

Ayse Ince, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This is a very tragic situation and has understandably left the family devastated.

"They have serious concerns about the treatment they received in the 24 hours prior to the stillbirth and we are gathering expert medical evidence to find out exactly what happened and if more could have been done to prevent Ella’s death.

“A recent inquest involving another patient we represent revealed that 10 babies had died in ‘unexpected circumstances’ during a 12 month period at Warrington Hospital. So it is important that any issues are identified as soon as possible to prevent further heartache for other families.”

A Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “There has been both an internal and independent investigation into this matter and the findings have been shared with the family at every opportunity.

"We want to again express our sincere condolences to them. It would be inappropriate to make any other comments whilst this is an ongoing legal matter.”

IT is not the first time that the hospital’s maternity unit has come under fire.

Angela is one of 10 parents who lost their babies at the hospital, prompting an investigation by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists which found that the unit was short-staffed, deaths were avoidable and there was often a breakdown in communication.

Another parent, Caroline Tully, whose daughter Clara died just 30 minutes after she was born in March last year, is campaigning for a change in the law as currently inquests cannot be held into the deaths of babies who are stillborn.

An inquest in April into Clara’s death found ‘a series if errors’ had been made by the hospital but enough changes had been made at the hospital since but Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg did express frustration inquests cannot be held into stillbirths during labour.

Angela said: “I definitely support Caroline’s campaign. I feel like we have not had an end.

“It is only when we went to a solicitor that we have got some sort of investigation. Before that we have just had to accept what the hospital has said to us.

“I am no medical expert. I was just going off my instinct that something wasn’t right and that she shouldn’t have died.

“She should be here today.”