A BRAVE Scottish MP opened her heart during a House of Commons debate yesterday to reveal how she lost her only child – when he was stillborn – in a bid to prevent more babies dying unnecessarily in the womb.

North Ayrshire and Arran SNP MP Patricia Gibson also revealed how she nearly died when her liver ruptured after suffering serious complications on the day her 8lb 5oz son Kenneth was due to be born.

During a Westminster Hall debate she called on the UK Government to overhaul the way complaints of medical negligence are investigated and she has written to Health Minister Shona Robison looking for urgent action in Scotland.

The 47-year-old, who is married to Cunninghame North SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson, has spent the past six-and-a-half years fighting for justice for her son and an apology from the health board she claims let her down badly after doctors failed to spot she had a high blood pressure condition which could have saved her baby.

The couple were so desperate to have children they spent five years on IVF treatment before Patricia fell pregnant in 2009 and she was due to give birth to a healthy baby boy at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow that October.

She became extremely ill on her due date but when she went to hospital she was told to go home as there was nothing wrong with her.

After almost two hours of arguing with nursing staff she was admitted but was given morphine for the pain and no doctor came near her until the following morning when they told Patricia her baby was dead.

She was then informed she would have to give birth to her stillborn despite being heavily sedated, however, after 48 hours doctors admitted they were struggling to induce her baby and then her liver ruptured.

Patricia had an emergency operation and her baby was removed by caesarean section and because she had lost so much blood doctors thought she was going to die.

She insists she should never have been given morphine and experts told her pre-eclampsia should have been picked up by medics as it had been spotted in previous blood tests. Patricia said: “I have a wish list. Given that 45 per cent of women who have had stillborns were sent home when they expressed concerns, I want to bed into our culture a more collaborative system where people’s concerns are listened to. That doesn’t cost anything.

“The next thing I want is that when mistakes are made, health boards or health trusts should not be investigating themselves. An independent body must be brought in to investigate full-term stillbirths and there needs to be a time limit.

“The other thing I would like to see is that when babies are stillborn at full-term, which is 34 per cent of all stillbirths in Scotland, coroners should become involved as they would be able to pinpoint causes of death and how lessons can be learned.

“When they are done they can issue a prevention of future deaths report which gives each hospital where this has occurred, and it was preventable, steps they can take in the future to make it less likely that a similar thing will happen again. It will drive down the incidents.”

She said a catalogue of failures resulted in her baby’s death and she wants to rid the NHS of a “culture of cover-ups”. She added: “The real tragedy here is that my case is far from unique and this is happening all the time. Mistakes are being swept under the carpet. There is a culture of cover-ups and a real reluctance for people to admit they made mistakes because they are worried about possible legal action.

“When I left the Southern General after my baby died I was assured there would be a full investigation into what went wrong.

“The circumstances surrounding the stillbirth were as if I was being looked after by Laurel and Hardy. It was that bad.

“They said they would report back to me and let me know what had gone wrong and how they would mitigate that in the future to prevent such mistakes happening again.”

Almost two years after her baby died, Patricia still had no apology or answers so she pestered NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and was eventually sent a letter. She said: “The letter from the health board was very non-committal and I couldn’t understand it. I got angry because I felt they had no intention of doing anything, they just wanted to get rid of me. I then reluctantly sought legal advice.

“Through my solicitor I commissioned two independent reports from specialists in gynaecology and obstetrics from Edinburgh and Newcastle. They were in utter disbelief about the series of errors at every level which led to my son’s death and also my near death.”

She eventually settled the case for a small sum in March after being warned that if she took it to court she could be liable for all the legal costs which would have bankrupted her.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde refused to comment on the detail of the case.

A health board spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that an out-of-court settlement was reached regarding this case but it would be inappropriate to comment on the detail of this.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said Patricia’s case was “extremely sad”. She added: “Of course my sympathies are with Patricia and her family. While it’s vital that any unexpected death is properly investigated, we must also acknowledge that lengthy investigations can be upsetting for the families concerned. The 2016 Health Act also contains measures to ensure that organisations are open and honest with people when unexpected or unintended harm happens.”