Romford hospital midwife cleared of misconduct charges

Queen's Hospital

Queen's Hospital - Credit: Archant

A midwife accused of leaving a mother suffering “nightmares and flashbacks” leaving her desperately trying to resuscitate her newborn baby, was cleared today (Friday) after the charges were found unproved.

The mother, a practising GP, told a disciplinary hearing she was left rubbing her “grey and lifeless” girl with a towel, while midwife Ernestina Hayford sat at the end of the bed in silence.

The child survived the ordeal, but the mother, identified only as Patient A, told the panel she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and still fears for her baby’s health.

But the charges against Ms Hayford, who was working at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, were found not proved at the central London hearing, due to a lack of evidence and conflicting statements.

Panel chair Colin Youngson said: “The panel recognises that this was a highly charged time of emotional stress for Patient A and her husband who thought at the point of delivery that their baby had died.

“However, the medical records indicate that the baby was attended to quickly and was responsive and breathing properly within a relatively short period of time.

“In relation to whether or not Ms Hayford failed to provide the appropriate level of care, the panel notes from the medical notes that Ms Hayford initiated contact with the emergency team and that Baby A therefore received the appropriate level of care, irrespective of who transferred her to the resuscitaire.

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“Therefore the charge is not proved.”

The mother, who is 20-weeks pregnant, told the panel she is terrified about giving birth for the second time.

“I have suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder since, as a result of the horrific conditions of trying to resuscitate my own child,” she told the panel.

“I am still having nightmares and flashbacks. I will never forget the delivery of my first child and the suffering that I experienced.”

She had been admitted to Queen’s on October 4 2009 and was given an epidural for the “extreme pain” caused by slipped discs in her spine.

Hayford, an agency midwife, took control of the birth.

In a written statement she denied charges of failing to call a paeditrician in the second stage of labour and failing to tell Patient A when to push.

She also denied failing to take the proper steps to resuscitate the child.

She did not attending a misconduct hearing in central London, and all the charges against her have been dropped.