A grieving mother said she is "not the same person" after the the loss of her daughter destroyed her life.

Chloe Vowels Lovett and her husband Toby had been expecting their daughter Esme after seven years of trying to conceive, but she started experiencing "horrible stabbing pains" at the end of her pregnancy.

Chloe, 29, claims staff at Worthing hospital told her to "get on with her life" and dismissed her pains as normal just weeks before their daughter was stillborn.

The couple are now calling for a review into maternity services at the hospital and are pleading with bosses to listen to mothers.

Chloe, from Southwater, said she screamed when she found out Esme had died, shouting "I told you something was wrong, this was your fault".

She added: “To lose a child when you shouldn’t have lost a child is just unbearable.

“As time went on, we began realising that it wasn’t just us that this has happened to, there’s more and more of us and there’s actually a group of us who have now come together who have all lost babies with this particular trust.

“I think it just pushes forward the fact that something more needs to be done, because with all of us and our cases, we’re all promised afterwards this will change and we’ll make these improvements.

The Argus: Chloe and Toby with a scan of baby EsmeChloe and Toby with a scan of baby Esme (Image: PA)

“But meeting these other families, it’s kind of a timeline that proves that these changes aren’t happening. So I think pushing for a review, hopefully we’ll force their hand.

“I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD since, neither me or my husband are the same people that we once were and I don’t see how we ever will be again.

“We’re always going to live with a child missing and that’s something really hard to cope with.”

Chloe and Toby had been expecting their daughter Esme in early 2022 after seven years of trying to conceive and six miscarriages. Chloe's pregnancy had been deemed high risk prior to her experiencing "horrendous stabbing pains" at 33 weeks which left her bed-bound.

The expecting mum went into hospital and made multiple triage calls but was ignored, she claims. She said the last phone call she made to triage when she had lost blood will stay with her forever, after she recalled the midwife telling her it did not sound like she was in pain and suggested she should “get on with your life” and “why don’t you go to Waitrose”.

The Argus: Worthing HospitalWorthing Hospital

Esme was stillborn at 38 weeks on February 18, 2022.

A post-mortem examination and internal investigation at Worthing hospital later found Chloe had placenta abruption and another condition of polyhydramnios which increases risk in stillbirth.

The findings also said medics missed at least six opportunities to have intervened before Esme’s death, according to law firm CL Medilaw who are representing the couple.

Chloe and Toby Lovett are calling for an independent review at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, who run Worthing Hospital and the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, among others.

Trust bosses have apologised to the family for Esme’s death and have said the investigation from the incident has led to improvements in the service.

 The couple are joined by Robyn and Jonny Davis, whose 14-day-old baby Orlando died in 2021. His death was partially contributed to by neglect, an inquest found.

The Argus: Robyn and Jonny Davis with baby OrlandoRobyn and Jonny Davis with baby Orlando

Both Chloe and Toby Lovett and Robyn and Jonny Davis are bringing civil claims against University Hospitals Sussex.

Other families are being encouraged to come forward to join the parents’ campaign, if they may also have suffered losses in other ways such as injuries to the mother or child during labour.

An all-parliamentary inquiry into birth trauma published this week heard from 1,300 people who had traumatic birth experiences and concluded that women are often “treated as an inconvenience”.

Dr Tim Taylor, chief of women and children's division at University Hospitals Sussex, said: “We have met with Esme’s family to express our deepest condolences and sincere apologies for their devastating loss, and I would like to repeat that apology publicly today.

“Following this tragedy in 2022, we carried out an extensive investigation to help answer the family’s questions. This led to significant improvements being made to the service, which we have implemented and since shared with the family.”

Since the investigation ended in October 2022, the trust has offered urgent appointments for parents with complex medical issues, and launched a centralised telephone triage service among other improvements.