Midwives face action over baby deaths

Furness General Hospital.
Furness General Hospital.

Eight midwives who worked for University Hospital of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, which is at the centre of an inquiry into infant and maternal deaths could face disciplinary action.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has decided that four midwives linked to cases involving baby deaths at the Trust should face fitness to practise hearings.

The Health Service Journal reported that four other midwives’ cases are subject to further investigation by the regulator after concerns about poor care at the trust’s Furness General Hospital maternity unit.

Seven of the eight cases under consideration by the NMC are understood to refer to midwives involved in the treatment of baby Joshua Titcombe, who died from septicaemia in October 2008 after a catalogue of errors.

Three of the seven midwives involved in Joshua’s case will face misconduct hearings and, depending on their findings, could potentially lead to them being struck off the NMC register.

The cases of four other midwives are still under investigation and the eighth is understood to be being investigated in relation to the treatment of Alex Brady, who died in September 2008, and the death of Elleanor Bennett, who died in February 2004.

It is not known how many, if any, of the eight midwives are still employed by the trust.

Jackie Daniel, chief executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Whilst we cannot comment on individual members of staff, we can say that we are continuing to work with the NMC to assist its on-going investigation.”