Amanda Cox: Family anger over death of new mum who died after getting lost in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary

The family of a new mother who died after she got lost and collapsed in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary have said she may still be alive if “basic, common sense measures” had been in place.

By Ian Swanson
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 7:54 pm

Amanda Cox, 34, is thought to have got lost on her way back to the maternity ward after going to visit her premature baby son Murray in the hospital’s neonatal unit.

She was discovered seven hours later slumped unconscious and barely alive in a disused third-level plant room at the Infirmary on December 10, 2018.

Despite emergency treatment, doctors were unable to save her. She died of a brain haemorrhage, her death certificate confirmed.

Amanda Cox was missing for seven hours before being found.

The Crown Office announced yesterday that a fatal accident inquiry will not be held into her death saying it was satisfied the reasons for Mrs Cox’s death have been established, and lessons have been learned.

Her family said she did not deserve such a “catalogue of errors” in her care and hope no other family has to go through what they did.

A statement issued by Marina Urie, a senior lawyer with Thompsons Solicitors, on behalf of Mrs Cox’s husband, Michael, and her family, said: “The publication today by NHS Lothian of their new safety measures comes three years too late for Amanda.

“Had these basic, common sense measures been in place then Amanda would not have lost her life in the tragic circumstances she did.

“Amanda was a beautiful, caring person and a wonderful wife. She had just become a mother to our son. She did not deserve such a catalogue of errors in her care from NHS Lothian.

“The statement today from the health board barely mentions her and is very cold and unfeeling. We just hope that because of Amanda’s tragic death no other family has to go through the horror that our family has.”

The Crown Office said the decision not to hold an FAI had been taken with the agreement of Ms Cox's family and took account of the review and improvements carried out by NHS Lothian after her death.

Ms Cox, from Peebles, had been transferred to the Infirmary from Borders General Hospital with four-day-old Murray, who was born weighing only 3lb 7 ounces, for specialist care.

Staff launched a search for her after she was reported missing, and she was found seven hours later after a review of CCTV footage.

Katrina Parkes, head of the Crown Offices’s Scottish fatalities investigation unit, said: “The decision not to hold a fatal accident inquiry has been taken in consultation with Amanda Cox’s family, who have suffered a terrible loss, and I would like to thank them for their patience and co-operation.

“NHS Lothian have provided assurance that significant changes have been made since Amanda’s deathe.”

NHS Lothian said that, since Ms Cox’s death, it had upgraded signage and wayfinding and extended CCTV surveillance throughout the Infirmary.

It said it had also shared clinical information to help develop national guidance on the management of headache in pregnancy and national pathways for the management of women with complex obstetric care needs.

Dr Tracey Gillies, medical director of NHS Lothian, said: "The death of Mrs Cox was a deeply tragic occurrence and our sincere condolences remain with her family.”