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Dad 'dismayed by failure to act sooner' on safety concerns after young mum's brain injury

PUBLISHED: 19:00 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:26 11 January 2020

Jessica Rudland suffered a brain injury after giving birth to her son Picture: CHRIS RUDLAND

Jessica Rudland suffered a brain injury after giving birth to her son Picture: CHRIS RUDLAND

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The father of a young mum who suffered a brain injury after giving birth at Ipswich Hospital feels not enough has been done to address safety concerns in the four-and-a-half years since the incident.

Jessica has made huge progress but still has difficulties with balance and walking.  Picture: CHRIS RUDLANDJessica has made huge progress but still has difficulties with balance and walking. Picture: CHRIS RUDLAND

Jessica Rudland, now 27, was rushed to A&E with heart palpitations and breathlessness on August 2, 2015 - just 15 days after giving birth to son Lewin. She suffered a cardiac arrest and the family claim she was then "abandoned" by staff for a period of time.

Then 23, Jessica suffered a hypoxic brain injury and spent 13 days in a coma at the critical care unit, before being transferred to Papworth Hospital following a second cardiac arrest, multiple organ failure and sepsis.

- Watch a video diary of Jessica Rudland's time in critical care.

Now Chris Rudland, Jessica's father, claims bosses haven't acted quickly enough to address the family's concerns.

"As a father, I am totally dismayed by the failure to act sooner on recommendations after Jessica's incident," he said.

Jessica pictured with her son Lewin.  Picture: CHRIS RUDLANDJessica pictured with her son Lewin. Picture: CHRIS RUDLAND

"Fourteen 'patient safety' improvements were promised over two years ago, some could have been easily implemented with immediate effect.

"Why wait when there is a risk of harm to other patients?"

In its latest Care Quality Commission inspection, the trust running Ipswich Hospital, the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), was recorded as failing to meet three regulations - which Mr Rudland claims were highlighted by Jessica's case.

It was found not to be meeting regulations around providing safe care and treatment for maternity and midwifery, good governance for maternity and midwifery, and the need for consent in surgical procedures.

Jessica Rudland, who suffered a brain injury after giving birth at Ipswich Hospital Picture: CHRIS RUDLANDJessica Rudland, who suffered a brain injury after giving birth at Ipswich Hospital Picture: CHRIS RUDLAND

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Mr Rudland added: "The regulatory action notices served on Ipswich Hospital by the CQC go some way to address our concerns but for some bereaved families, it is too little too late.

"We all want the same thing - and that's for our local hospital to be the best it can be, providing safe and effective care to all its service users."

The CQC's latest overall rating of ESNEFT was 'requires improvement'.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of ESNEFT, said: "Our teams completely understand Jessica's family's determination to understand what happened to their daughter.

"Jessica's care has been fully investigated and independently reviewed and we are committed to learning lessons from incidents.

Jessica's family are fighting for answers after she suffered a brain injury at Ipswich Hospital Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILYJessica's family are fighting for answers after she suffered a brain injury at Ipswich Hospital Picture: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

"We have apologised to Jessica's family and, as there is an ongoing claim, we are not able to comment further at this stage."

Mr Rudland said he is pleased regulatory action is now being taken, adding that a Medical Practitioners' Tribunal is due to be held in relation to Jessica's case later this year.

Jessica, who is now 27, requires rehabilitation as a result of her brain injury.

Her son, Lewin, is doing well and recently started school.

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