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Shropshire midwives fighting for jobs after baby death

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | Health | Published: | Last Updated:

Three midwives facing a series of charges of misconduct over the death of a baby at a Shropshire maternity unit are fighting for their careers this week.

Katie Anson's son Kye died at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, Shropshire on August 19 2015, four days after he was born.

Midwives Kerry Davies, Laura Jones, and Hayley Lacey are facing claims they did not properly monitor Kye's birth or adequately hand over his care between them.

During his stay at the hospital, Kye's heart rate went up to more than 100 beats per minute and he was immediately given a ventilation mask.

But he died four days later, as he was unable to breathe on his own.

The midwives have accepted they each failed at some point during Kye's care.

Failed

Appearing in front of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London, they admitted they each failed to check his foetal heart rate at different times prior to his transfer from the Midwife Led Unit into the Consultant Led Unit at the hospital.

The panel earlier dropped a charge alleging that Davies' failure to check his heart rate, a procedure known as ausculation, limited his chance of survival.

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The tribunal is now deciding whether the trio's fitness to practice is impaired by reason of misconduct and, if so, what action should be taken.

Jones and Lacey each denied being responsible for the care of the mother at 6.05pm and 6.20pm when they are said to have failed to have recorded the foetal heartbeat.

Jones was found to have been responsible for the patient during that period but insisted that Lacey had not handed over responsibility which was not accepted by the panel.

The testimony from Lacey backed up Jones' claims of communication issues within the unit.

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Tragedy

In a statement, Lacey said: "The loss of a baby is a tragedy. When I heard I felt shock and devastated for his family. They are left with many questions and I understand their need to find answers."

Davies has admitted not recording the foetal heart rate at 20:05, the last opportunity before Kye was transferred to the Consultant Led Unit.

The midwife, a specialist in teenage pregnancies, has been accused of being 'laissez-faire' or careless with Kye's care.

Mary-Teresa Deignan, representing Davies, said: "The lack of foetal ausculation, not only was it not laissez-faire, it was not negligent. It is one failure on one shift in a career of over 15 years."

The Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust is being investigated under the orders of former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt following baby deaths on its maternity wards.

Senior midwife Donna Ockenden is leading an inquiry to examine 23 cases of mother and baby deaths and injuries at hospitals in Shropshire between 2000 and 2017.

The hearing continues.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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