Midwife’s three-month suspension sparks anger from family
- Credit: Archant
The family of a woman who died with her unborn child at Queen’s Hospital has criticised the lenient treatment of a midwife “who placed her own interests ahead of the patient’s”.
Rebecca Matovu was last week suspended for three months after being found to have “breached the fundamental tenets” of her profession when she ignored calls for help and failed to provide crucial assistance to a collapsed patient because her shift had finished.
Sareena Ali, 27, died at the Rom Valley Way hospital on January 28, 2011, following the death of her unborn child and five days on life support.
Before her condition deteriorated, her husband Usman Javed had made several requests for help from midwives including Ms Matovu, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard, but they were ignored.
Later she collapsed but Ms Matovu offered no help, instead leaving the hospital because she had a lift waiting.
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Almost four years on, with Mr Javed remarried and celebrating the recent birth of a child, the NMC last week suspended Ms Matovu for three months over the 2011 incident.
This week, Sarah Harman, the family’s solicitor, said Mr Javed thought Ms Matovu was “the sort of the person who should not be responsible for vulnerable people in the future”.
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She added: “What she did was very, very serious indeed... She went off her shift when it wasn’t clear she [Mrs Ali] was OK and when she collapsed about 30 minutes later she refused to go to her assistance saying she’d finished her shift.
“All of this is totally unacceptable behaviour for a person who calls themselves a professional and we’re sorry that the Nursing and Midwifery Council do not expect more of their health professionals.”
Another midwife, Ilene Machakata, is facing NMC disciplinary action over Ms Ali’s death. Her hearing had been scheduled for a date earlier this month but was deferred. A new date is yet to be confirmed.