Beds, Herts & Bucks

Buckinghamshire midwife cautioned for misconduct

A midwife has been given a three-year caution order for misconduct during the birth of a stillborn baby girl.

Diane Gingell, from Buckinghamshire, was called to a patient, known as "Mrs Bird", who went into labour, in July 2009, after requesting a home birth.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council heard Mrs Bird should have been taken to hospital a few hours into the labour.

Ms Gingell also left Mrs Bird, when she was in established labour, for about 25 minutes to collect drugs from hospital.

Abnormal heart rate

The Conduct and Competence Committee heard Mrs Bird had gone into labour at home late on 17 July, and had been feeling sick and had a high temperature.

Ms Gingell failed to make a care plan over her high temperature reading during the early hours of 18 July, and the baby's abnormal heart rate, and did not share this information with Mrs Bird and her husband, the hearing was told.

Evidence was heard Mrs Bird should have been transferred to hospital, based on the baby's abnormal heart rate and her increasing pulse, recorded between 02:00 and 02:30.

Ms Gingell also left Mrs Bird without the care of a midwife or health professional while she collected pethidine from Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

'Out of character'

Mrs Bird was transferred to hospital at 05:50, after the baby's heart rate could not be found.

The NMC accepted it was never alleged Ms Gingell's acts or omissions contributed to the stillbirth, and other midwives gave evidence that Ms Gingell's action was "totally out of character".

It heard Ms Gingell, a midwife for 30 years, had suffered ill health since the incident and retired in December 2009.

Should she seek to return to work she would have to undergo a supervisory review to demonstrate her competence.

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