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Royal Free maternity staff called to baby inquest

PUBLISHED: 11:50 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:04 07 September 2010

ROYAL Free maternity staff will be called to give evidence into the death of a six-day-old baby girl, a coroner has ruled. Devora Potera was born at the Pond Street hospital on January 5 this year but died suddenly at her Belsize Avenue home less than a w

ROYAL Free maternity staff will be called to give evidence into the death of a six-day-old baby girl, a coroner has ruled.

Devora Potera was born at the Pond Street hospital on January 5 this year but died suddenly at her Belsize Avenue home less than a week later.

An inquest into the baby's death was adjourned on Thursday because coroner Dr Andrew Reid wants to quiz hospital staff about the care the family were given in the days after Devora's birth.

Parents Bejtullah and Lavdije Potera, originally from Kosovo, were at St Pancras Coroner's court to hear Dr Reid's decision.

The coroner said: "I want to find out more about the support you should have had after you left hospital and I need some evidence from the midwife who came to see you to find out what she said or did. I want to ask questions of these health care professionals. I am concerned to find out more about why you did not have the contact from health care professionals that you were expecting."

Giving evidence on Thursday, Mr Potera told the court how they were expecting more help after the birth. He said: "I explained to them that the baby was crying all night and there was a real problem with breast feeding.

"I also told them that the baby had not been washed yet because they did not do it in the hospital. We asked them to help us and they said someone would be sent out but no-one came."

The inquest heard how police were called in after the death but officers were satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances and no evidence of abuse or violence.

When the inquests restarts, it will be not be the first time the Royal Free's maternity ward has been in the spotlight.

In November 2007, the hospital was labelled one of the worst in the country for childbirth, according to a report released by the Healthcare Commission. In October the same year, a Royal Free midwife was struck off after landing her job by lying about her employment history.

A date for the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Devora Potera has not yet been set.


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