Patient safety

12.04.19

Midwives found guilty of misconduct in Telford hospital baby death

Two midwives have been found guilty of misconduct for their roles in the death of a four-day-old baby at a maternity unit in Shropshire.

At a misconduct hearing in London it was alleged that Laura Jones and Hayley Lacey did not properly monitor the birth of Kye Hall or adequately hand over his care before his death at the Princess Royal Hospital in August 2015.

Appearing in front of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the two midwives, plus a third who will not face action, accepted they each failed at some point during the baby’s care.

Jones and Lacey will find out what punishment will be handed down by the council later today after the hearing ruled that their fitness to practice was impaired by reason of their misconduct.

The trust, Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), is currently subject to a review into more than 200 cases of maternity errors, including dozens of mother and baby deaths.

The trust was placed into special measures by health secretary Matt Hancock last year over concerns about patient safety and it has received three enforcement action notices from the CQC.

This latest case is part of the review into maternity care and comes from a direct referral from NMC after which a previous finding-of-facts hearing proved several charges against Jones and Lacey.

A lack of communication meant the mother was not provided continuous care and Jones said at the hearing that “poor handover meant that observations were missed.”

She said: “Obviously that was completely unacceptable and should never have happened.”

The third midwife, Kerry Davies, previously admitted she should have checked the baby’s heart rate before birth but denied misconduct and the panel judged that her fitness to practice was not impaired.

Siobhan Caslin, for the NMC, said Lacey had put the mother at an “unwarranted risk of harm,” but recognised that she has shown significant insight and remorse.

Caslin said: “Unlike midwife Lacey, midwife Jones' acts were not at the lower end of the spectrum.

“You have recognised that midwife Jones' insight is only developing.

“The NMC would say the appropriate action is a suspension order for a period of four to six months with a review before extension.”

Caslin did not call for either midwife to be struck off and none of the workers were accused of causing the death of the baby.

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