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Inquest set to open into death of baby at St Richards Hospital

A three-day inquest into the death of a baby girl who lived for just 20 minutes after her birth at St Richards Hospital in Chichester will open at West Sussex Coroner’s Court on Monday 27 June at 10am.

Leilani Chute, known as Lily, was born on 5 August 2015, weighing 6lbs 14oz at St Richards Hospital, part of the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust. An investigation by the Trust, conducted a month after Lily’s death, documented numerous failings in respect of the treatment provided to Lily’s mother during her delivery and concluded that Lily had been starved of oxygen as a result of poor monitoring.

Lily’s mother, Katherine Chute, who was aged 28 at the time, went into labour in the early hours of 2 August. She had high blood pressure and was admitted into hospital when her contractions became more intense throughout the day at around 6pm. Shortly before midnight however, she was given the option to return home as her contractions had slowed down and her blood pressure was normal.

On returning to the hospital the next day at around 2pm, Mrs Chute was found to have high blood pressure but again was sent home, only to return to hospital again that evening as her contractions had increased.

The hospital advised Mrs Chute to remain so that she and her baby could be monitored. At around 4pm on 4 August, Mrs Chute was taken to the delivery suite to have her waters broken. The labour did not progress and Mrs Chute was seen by a plethora of different medical professionals between approximately 2am – 1pm on 5 August before being told she had to have a forceps delivery. Mrs Chute indicated that she wanted a caesarian delivery but was strongly advised against it.

Lily was delivered at 2:46pm by caesarian section and lived for 20 minutes after resuscitation attempts failed. Mrs Chute was given a general aesthetic shortly before the birth and was not aware of her daughter’s death until her mother told her later that day.

Her parents, Katherine and Riley Chute will attend the inquest and will give evidence, as will West Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust and Dr Adeyemo, the attending obstetric registrar. The inquest will examine the labour, delivery and resuscitation of Lily.

Lily’s parents will be represented at the inquest by solicitor Andrew Harrison, a partner in the medical negligence team at Hodge Jones & Allen. He says: “It has been an incredibly difficult time for Mr and Mrs Chute, who remain grief-stricken and extremely distressed by their daughter’s death. Although the inquest cannot bring Lily back, my clients need to understand the reasons behind their daughter’s death.”


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