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Queen's Hospital midwife guilty of leaving newborn baby face-down in stationery cupboard - but keeps job

PUBLISHED: 08:37 21 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:33 21 November 2013

Musonda-Malata faces being struck off. Picture: Central News

Musonda-Malata faces being struck off. Picture: Central News

Archant

A midwife who left a newborn baby face-down in a stationery cupboard has kep her job

The baby was found in a stationery cupboard by a nursery nurseThe baby was found in a stationery cupboard by a nursery nurse

Yvonne Musonda-Malata, 35, took the four day-old girl away from her mother to allow her to get a night’s sleep.

The baby was discovered covered in vomit lying on her stomach by a horrified colleague who went to get an envelope.

Regulators found Musonda-Malata guilty of leaving the infant, identified only as Baby A, unattended in the unventilated and unlit closet.

She had moved the baby from her mother because she was “unsettled” at Queen’s Hospital, in Rom Valley Way, in Romford.

Nursery nurse Alex Curtis told how she was “shocked” to find Baby A inside the cupboard with the door closed.

Fortunately the child came to no harm and was discharged fit and well, the tribunal heard.

NMC panel chairman Lesley White said the midwife’s conduct “amounted to a failure to provide clinical care”.

When the door was closed it was unventilated and the light automatically switched off.

“The panel found this would not have been an appropriate place for a baby to be left.

“The panel found Ms Curtis to be a credible and consistent witness.

“She had no motive to be untruthful and the panel has no reason to believe she was mistaken.”

But her fellow midwife, Christine Onoade, 46, was cleared by the NMC panel.

Onoade, who has since been sacked, insisted the allegations were manufactured by a “malicious” nurse.

But Musonda-Malata claimed she asked her Onoade to keep an eye on the baby while she was away with another patient.

Musonda-Malata told ward sister Martina Cheng “I have made a mistake, I’m in big trouble” after she left the tot in the storeroom, the tribunal heard.

She said she was forced to confess by a matron.

The midwife, who was suspended but continues to work at Queen’s, added that she was not in “the right frame of mind” and “just wanted to write something in the notes and get out of the place”.

Musonda-Malata’s claims were rejected by the panel, which also found her guilty of failing to provide appropriate clinical care.

The panel handed her a caution, which will lie on her record for three years.

She also failed to record all or some of Baby A’s feeds while she was under her care, the panel found.

Onoade was cleared of the same charge after the panel ruled it was not part of her duties.

She was also cleared of failing to remove Baby A and leaving her in the cupboard.

Derek Zeitlin, for the NMC said the baby’s father asked Musonda-Malata to take the baby away so that his wife so she could rest.

Are you the mother or father of Baby A? Tell us how you feel about what happened by calling Jane Ball on 020 8477 3878 or emailing jane.ball@archant.co.uk

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