The mother of a baby who suffered lacerations to her head during birth is fighting to claim compensation for clinical negligence from Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester.

Ellie Best, who was born on 18th April 2004, was left scarred after a Senior House Officer involved in her delivery chose a Ventouse cup approach instead of a forceps delivery which was eventually used and ultimately successful. Ms Rachel Best, 21, is taking action because she feels that the hospital chose the wrong method resulting in unnecessary scarring to Ellie. She also wants to highlight the implications and dangers of using Ventouse incorrectly.

Commenting, Ms Best of Cheadle, Cheshire, said: “Ellie was in the ‘back to back’ and brow position which meant that Ellie’s forehead was apparent and assisted delivery by forceps should have been used. Instead, three attempts were made using the Ventouse cup. It was quite clearly the wrong decision and the staff should have known that. As a result Ellie has visibly bad scarring. She has needed to be referred to a Plastic Surgeon for her injuries and it is uncertain at the moment whether she will need any future surgery.”

Furthermore, Ms Best argues that she was given no indication or prior warning by hospital staff that the use of a Ventouse cup could result in injury to her baby. She added: “I want other mothers to be aware of the implications of using a Ventouse cup. Hospital staff should explain up front why and when it should be used and what effect it can have on the baby.”

A Ventouse is a cup which is placed on a baby’s head to achieve suction. As the mother pushes, the doctor or midwife will pull on the cup to assist delivery.

Acting on behalf of Ms Best, solicitor Adam Smith of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The use of the Ventouse cup is not unusual, but there are specific circumstances when it should be applied. In the case of Ms Best and Ellie, hospital staff should have attempted forceps delivery to begin with. This would have prevented any injury to the baby’s head.”

At present, Thompsons Solicitors have put their case to the Wythenshawe Hospital in a letter of claim and are currently awaiting the response, in which they must state whether they intend to admit or deny liability for the injury suffered by Ellie during her birth.