A midwife who actions contributed to the deaths of two babies has been struck off the medical register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The midwife, who formerly worked at Furness General Hospital, faced 85 allegations of substandard medical care. The NMC proved 68 charges relating to 14 different patients.

In light of these charges, the panel decided that the “only appropriate sanction” was a “striking off order”.

Investigation into Morecambe Bay NHS Trust

The midwife is the first of a number of clinicians to be investigated at the scandal-hit University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

In 2011 the Trust had the highest mortality rate in the country. Problems only came to light when parent James Titcome, who son Joshua died from a treatable infection at Furness General Hospital shortly after birth, campaigned for action to be taken.

An audit of patients’ notes was subsequently carried out, revealing a “seriously dysfunctional” Trust. Managers were later accused of attempting a cover-up when medical notes disappeared.

Baby deaths

The midwife was found to be responsible for “wide-ranging failings”, including failing to record foetal heart rate, temperature and other observations, failing to record the artificial rupture of membranes, and failing to seek help from a doctor when needed.

The investigation concluded that her mistakes led to the deaths of two babies. The first involved the death of Elleanor Bennett in 2004. The midwife failed to monitor the unborn baby’s heart rate, even though she was at risk due to being a large baby.

When the baby was delivered she was “blue and lifeless” but the midwife failed to call the emergency team, instead placing her by the mother’s side. She was eventually rushed to a specialist unit but died two days later.

The second relates to the death of Alex Davey-Brady in 2008. During the delivery the foetal rate was not properly monitored, nor was the mother’s blood pressure. Complications were therefore missed, resulting in a stillbirth.

“Failed in the basic care of patients”

Gary Leong, chair of the NMC panel, said the midwife “failed in the basic care of patients. These failings were repeated over a 10 year period and she showed a persistent lack of insight into her actions.”

“Her conduct was a very significant departure from standards expected of a midwife.”

Expert legal advice

If you or your baby suffered harm as a result of substandard midwifery/obstetric care, please contact us to discuss your legal rights.

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