24 January 2020
At the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Harry Richford, Dr Paul Stevens, Medical Director for East Kent Hospitals said:
“We are so sorry and apologise wholeheartedly for the devastating loss of baby Harry. We fully accept that Harry’s care fell below the standard that we want to offer every mother giving birth in our hospitals.
"Mr and Mrs Richford’s expectation in November 2017 was that they would welcome a healthy baby into their family and we are deeply sorry that we failed in our role to help them do that.
"We recognise the mistakes in both Harry’s delivery and subsequent resuscitation and acknowledge that there are things that we could and should have done differently. With great sadness we accept that we failed Harry and his family, and apologise unreservedly.
"We are also truly sorry that Harry’s family was not given the support and answers they needed. We deeply regret the extra pain that our delays have caused them.
"We cannot imagine the pain the Richford family has endured. The lessons we can learn from their continued commitment to understanding the circumstances of Harry’s death will help families in the future.
"We fully accept the Coroner’s findings and recommendations. We are determined to learn when things go wrong and have already made significant changes to our service following Harry’s death. Our midwives, doctors and every member of our staff constantly strive to give good care and seek to improve every day.
"We are working closely with national maternity experts to make sure we are doing everything we can to make rapid and sustainable improvements. We are committed to learning the lessons from Harry’s death."