Husband of young mum who died at scandal-hit maternity unit calls for independent investigation

THE husband of a young mum who died at a scandal-hit maternity unit has called for an independent investigation to be launched after a damning report revealed serious failings at the unit.

Ionel Pintilie’s wife Gabriela, 36  bled to death at the Basildon University Hospital in February last year when medical professionals failed to give her the blood products she needed following the birth of their daughter, even though it was available.

A recent Care and Qualities Commission (CQC) report branded the unit inadequate and said teams at the unit were "dysfunctional".

It also said the unit did not have enough staff to keep women safe.

Speaking for the first time since the report Mr Pintilie, who has launched a civil action against the hospital trust through London law firm Osbornes Law, told of his anger and devastation that other mums and babies have died unnecessarily at the hospital.

He said: “I was devastated when I heard so many other women and babies had been through torment at the maternity unit. It has made me angry as they do not seem to have learnt from the mistakes of the past.

“I would like to see a full independent investigation into the unit so that the truth of just how many people’s lives have been so needlessly devastated at the unit can come to light and to look at why this negligence was allowed to go on for so long.”

Mr Pintilie’s call comes after similar investigations were launched into the Shrewsbury and East Kent maternity units in recent months.

He added: “Reading about the report into Basildon has brought the pain of losing Gabriela flooding back.

“I still miss her every day and have struggled to come to terms with what has happened to us.

“When our daughter Stefania had her birthday in February, I didn’t know whether we should celebrate or not as she was born just a few hours before Gabriela died.

“Our loss is immeasurable, but to hear others have suffered at the hospital since Gabriela passed away is unacceptable.

“Something needs to be done to stop this from happening again in the future and I hope an independent investigation would help achieve that.”

Stephanie Prior, Head of Medical Negligence at Osbornes Law, who represents a number of victims from the Basildon maternity unit including Mr Pintilie, said: “It is clear from the CQC report that the shocking failures of the past that led to Gabriela’s death have not been addressed; in fact they have got worse.

“I have heard many heart-breaking stories from clients who have had their lives devastated by what they have been put through at Basildon.

“It is time that the systemic failures at the unit are addressed to safeguard the lives of mothers and babies.

“It is crucial that an independent investigation is launched to discover the true extent of the failings and the level of potentially avoidable deaths and negligence at the unit.”

Ms Prior and her team represent Stella Ernu, whose son was stillborn at Basildon University Hospital after she was sent home twice.

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