stethoscope
An inquest heard that a pregnant woman waited for six hours for medical attentionernstl/Flickr

A woman whose baby died shortly after he was born waited six hours for medical help after telling midwives she could not feel her baby moving, an inquest heard.

Sarah Ellis, 28, attended Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax on 7 November 2014, initially being sent home because her labour was not advanced enough, but returning later the same day because she couldn't feel the baby move, The Yorkshire Post reported.

It was suggested by midwives on the ward that Ellis could have an infection, and she was examined by a consultant several hours later and given a button to press if she felt the baby move – and after six hours she had not pressed the button, Bradford Coroner's Court heard on 7 March.

Ellis' baby Gino Asquith was born by emergency C-section on 9 November, but needed to be placed on a life-support machine and resuscitated twice – with his parents advised to withdraw treatment three days after his birth as he had suffered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, brain damage that is caused by lack of oxygen.

Emily Whisker, a medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, was reported by the Yorkshire Post as saying: "They have a number of concerns about the care provided at Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and they hope that the inquest will provide them with an opportunity to learn more about the events leading up to Gino's death and whether any lessons can be learned from the tragedy."

The coroner's court heard that the maternity ward at Calderdale Royal Hospital had been particularly busy when Ellis, from Batley, was admitted, with 18 women at the Calderdale Maternity Assessment Centre and a further 18 women in the labour unit.

There was also a shortage of staff there compared with the number of patients, midwife Briony Khalifa told the court.

The inquest is expected to conclude on 8 March.