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Call the Midwife actor sees sons inquest halted amid claims NHS tampered

first_imgHis mother Tamara Podemski, 38, a Canadian actress, had been due to have a caesarean procedure at the hospital the previous day but it was postponed.An investigation into the incident found that delaying the operation was the wrong decision.Coroner Maria Voisin suddenly halted the inquest two days after being told how lawyers for the NHS trust involved allegedly removed crucial evidence by a midwife.Ms Voisin, the coroner for Avon, said she was considering referring the case to the Crown Prosecution Service. After the case was adjourned Mr King, 35, who played poet Thomas Wyatt in the TV series The Tudors and has appeared in Call the Midwife, said he was “horrified” by the allegations of tampering. We were horrified to hear evidence that a statement had been altered by the legal team representing the RUHThe parents But her C-section was mistakenly downgraded from a category three to four and she was sent home to Frome, Somerset, that evening at 10.30pm.Ms Podemski woke at 2am with pains in her stomach and again at 5am and was taken to the RUH by ambulance.Her baby was born but quickly transferred to a specialist unit at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol. Doctors there told his parents the baby had insufficient oxygen for around two hours after the placenta failed.The heartbroken couple decided to turn off his life support machine on May 10 after being told he would probably grow up with severe disabilities, epilepsy and have a small head.The inquest heard how Eileen Dack, the labour ward coordinator, questioned why the caesarean was delayed. She recalled a conversation with the on-duty registrar who had felt it should have gone ahead as planned.When asked under oath why there was no documentation of the conversation she told the coroner it was “removed from my statement” by the trust’s legal team. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Benjamin's mother Tamara Podemski The Royal United Hospital in Bath Coroner Maria VoisinCredit:Bristol Post/SWNS.com Coroner Maria Voisin He also claimed that the NHS of a “blatant disregard for the truth”, adding: “This delay not only postpones any resolution that we were hoping for but also significantly prolongs our suffering.”Also, this blatant disregard for the truth is in complete opposition to the NHS’s ‘Safer Maternity Care Action Plan’ which encourages lessons to be learned from mistakes and shared openly and transparently across the NHS,” he claimed.The inquest at Flax Bourton, Bristol, heard that Ms Podemski’s pregnancy was ‘high risk’ and she was rushed to the RUH after a community nurse spotted an abnormality on a scan.Doctors told her they could not perform a caesarean for six hours because she had been given a hospital meal which needed to be digested.An hour before the planned operation, another emergency case was given priority and Ms Podemski and Mr King were told she would have the operation first thing in the morning. In his short life our son Benjamin has had a profound effect on our family. He’s taught us the true meaning of loveJamie King and Tamara Podemski The Royal United Hospital in BathCredit: SWNS.COM “As a result of this, the coroner, who stated that she considers this is a very serious matter, has been forced to adjourn the inquest to allow for an investigation to take place.”He continued: “At a time when the UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates in Europe, we must create an environment where all medical practitioners feel safe to be honest about their mistakes so we can all hear from them.”The inquest and the internal investigations that will be taking place are a tremendous opportunity for growth and change. And we cannot waste them.”In his short life our son Benjamin has had a profound effect on our family. He’s taught us the true meaning of love, he asked us to be the most courageous, resilient and forgiving versions of ourselves.”Mr King appeared in Mad Men in 2009 and has also been in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Mr Turner.Helen Blanchard, director of nursing and midwifery for the RUH, said: “We regret the delay in this extremely distressing process.”We respect the Coroner’s decision to adjourn the inquest and will cooperate fully with her directions. “We are unable to comment further while proceedings continue.”The inquest is now scheduled to resume on Jan 16. A spokesman for the Avon Coroner’s Office on Thursday said Ms Voisin has not yet referred the case to the CPS but was “considering all the information”. Benjamin’s mother Tamara PodemskiCredit: Getty Images Coroner Ms Voisin said the alleged removal of evidence by a solicitor on behalf of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust was a “very serious matter indeed” and may amount to perverting the course of justice.Mr King attended the inquest without his wife as she remained at home with their other child.In a statement on behalf of both of them after the adjournment, he said: “Due to a poorly judged decision to postpone his C-section, Benjamin was delivered in an emergency procedure, and suffered severe brain damage as a result.”He tragically died at five days old. Unfortunately, through the process of this inquest, we have also learned about the darker, behind-the-scenes decisions that have been made.”Decisions that threaten the good work of honest health care professionals, as well as the safety of their patients. We were horrified to hear evidence that a statement had been altered by the legal team representing the RUH. A coroner has halted an inquest into the death of an actor’s baby son amid claims the NHS tampered with evidence which could result in criminal charges.Benjamin King, son of British TV star Jamie King, died from severe brain damage five days after being born by emergency caesarean section on May 5.He was starved of oxygen for two hours before his birth at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, Somerset.last_img read more