‘Midwife’s attitude to my stillbirth ordeal has left me completely shocked’

�A midwife has been sacked and deregistered by Queen’s Hospital for her “poor attitude” to a Romford woman who gave birth to a stillborn baby.

Allyson Childs, from Drummond Road, was devastated when Layla-Grace was born with the umbilical cord around her neck and having inhaled meconium fluid on September 24.

Doctors spent 22 minutes trying in vain to resuscitate the 9lb 10oz infant.

However, Allyson, 26, claims during the traumatic birth – in which the previously healthy baby showed signs of distress – she was subjected to “sarcastic” and “belittling” remarks by the midwife in charge.

The staff member was also alleged to have laughed at Allyson’s cry for pain relief.


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The woman has now been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which will investigate her competency to practice.

Head of Queen’s, Averil Dongworth, said she would “not have staff with this kind of poor attitude” and that it was important to “challenge poor behaviour”, according to the minutes of a meeting last month between hospital bosses and the family.

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Another midwife was also criticised for sending numerous texts – “some rude” – to the grieving family, the minutes said.

Investigation

“I am angry and disgusted,” said mother-of-two Allyson, “I feel I have been let down massively by the hospital. I want a full inquiry; no woman should have to go through what I went through.”

A serious incident investigation into the birth was carried out by hospital chiefs. It revealed problems including overworked staff at the unit, poor record-keeping of the birth and a delay in getting help from an obstetrics consultant.

But the report did find an “excellent team effort” in attempts to resuscitate the child.

It also revealed that, as a high-risk patient, Allyson’s labour should have been overseen by a consultant, but was instead midwife-led.

It was an oversight which Allyson believes may have meant her baby lived, but health chiefs argue it would not have led to a happier outcome.

In a letter to Allyson and partner, Steve Murphy, 25, after their meeting, Ms Dongworth said she was “moved and saddened” by the couple’s experience.

She added: “Listening to how we let you down at a time when you most needed support and care has only increased my commitment to improving every aspect of care.”

The Trust also apologised for losing a bib worn by the child, and for keeping her in a bloodstained cot. The family still await post-mortem results.

Averil said: “I have met with Miss Childs and her family and offered her our sincere apologies.

“We will not tolerate poor standards of care, and I am pleased that Miss Childs feels confident that changes will now be implemented to ensure that improvements are made.

“A thorough investigation has been carried out, and I will ensure that new ways of working are in place.

“The midwife involved in Miss Child’s care is no longer working at the Trust.”

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