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Asylum Seeker Lost Baby After Home Office Refused to Seek Medical Attention

Posted in: Birth Injury Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A woman, who has chosen to be referred to as “Adna”, claims to have lost her baby due to negligence from the Home Office. Adna, who fled Angola to seek asylum in the UK, was 5 months pregnant. In January 2020, she was brought in by police to Brigstock house in Croydon – a specialist asylum accommodation.

Two months later, in March, now 35 weeks into the course of her pregnancy, Adna began to experience issues. After suffering severe lower back pain, she requested the staff attending Brigstock House call her an ambulance – which, Adna claims – they refused to do. She waited in the reception area for at least three hours in pain, now bleeding.

According to Adna, the receptionist kept saying that she had to call 999 herself, despite being in too much pain to do so. He began to act hostile:

He was shouting at me, saying I was bleeding on their chair. I didn’t know what to do and I felt like nobody was listening … I was terrified. The connection I had felt to my baby was so strong, and I felt like it was disappearing.”

Another resident of the house called for an ambulance on Adna’s behalf, which took her to Croydon university hospital. She was informed she had lost her baby, and had to endure the childbirth in disbelief:

“I couldn’t accept what had happened. All I wanted was to see my baby. Eventually, they induced me and gave me an epidural. I was crying the whole time. When I saw her … it is still too painful to describe how I felt in that moment. My heart is broken … I will never, never recover from the emptiness inside me.”

The director of Maternity Action, a charity protecting pregnant people, Ros Bragg, said that “refusing emergency care is inhumane.” She went on to say:

Asylum-seeking women are at high risk of serious health problems in pregnancy. The government should be facilitating access to high-quality maternity care, not placing women in substandard accommodation with inadequately trained staff.

Adna sought legal action from solicitors to bring a claim against the Home Office. The claim stated their negligence led to personal injury and psychiatric damage, including anxiety and distress. They also claim a human rights violation under the Equality Act.

“[Adna] has experienced a catalogue of mistreatment, all linked to her being a woman, pregnant and black.

“Having finally managed to access help from the authorities, while heavily pregnant and bleeding, she experienced dehumanising treatment.

This case is less about the callous treatment she received from the staff, but more about a system that breeds such treatment. The treatment of our client is an outcome of the government’s hostile environment policy.”

Adna was left with “thoughts and sympathies” from a Home Office spokesperson. They claimed to “work closely with our service providers to ensure the highest possible standards in our accommodation.” They went on to say, “We expect these matters and any allegations to be treated seriously and thoroughly investigated.

Adna is hoping that legal action against the Home Office will cascade into necessary improvements for pregnant asylum seekers. “I want justice for my baby and for other women and children in asylum accommodation, nobody should be treated the way I was treated.

Adna has since been permanently rehoused and given psychiatric assistance from Sands – a stillbirth and neonatal death charity.

Have You Suffered a Loss Due to the Negligence of Another?

Personal injury is not the only way we can suffer at the hands of others, which is all too evident in the case of Adna’s lost baby. If you have been affected by negligence that has caused you a loss, and someone else is to blame, you may have grounds to seek compensation. If you’re at all unsure of your case, contact our team of friendly legal experts to get a no-obligation claim assessment. We may be able to help you seek damages on a no win, no fee* basis.

Call us today on 02038115808^ to claim.


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