Queen's midwife 'placed own interests ahead of patient's'
PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 September 2014
A midwife at Queen's Hospital who failed to help a woman who later died along with her unborn child has been suspended for three months.
Rebecca Matovu “breached the fundamental tenets of the profession by placing her own interests ahead of her patient’s” when she left the hospital at the end of her shift, despite being a senior midwife who should have known the seriousness of the situation, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found.
Sareena Ali, 27, died at the Rom Valley Way hospital on January 28, 2011, after five days on a life support machine.
She had collapsed as Ms Matovu was leaving, following several ignored requests for help from her family, a conduct and competence committee heard.
The regulator determined Ms Matovu had “failed to provide a high standard of care” by leaving the hospital because she had a lift waiting even though urgent assistance had just been called for sick Mrs Ali.
“Such a failure strikes to the very heart of the profession as it displays no evidence of the caring attitude that was paramount at such a vital time for both mother and child,” the committee said in a report.
The NMC considered a striking off order but deemed it disproportionate.
“To permanently remove Ms Matovu from the register would be to deprive the public of the services of an otherwise competent midwife who has the backing of her employer,” the report said.
Another midwife, Ilene Machakata, is facing disciplinary action over the same incident.