Cumbria

Baby Joshua Titcombe death: Two midwives 'failed to help save baby'

Joshua Titcombe Image copyright PA
Image caption Joshua Titcombe died nine days after being born at the Furness General Hospital maternity unit

Two midwives failed in their care of a baby boy by denying him the chance to be seen by a doctor before he died at nine days old, a hearing has ruled.

Lindsey Biggs and Holly Parkinson failed to tell a paediatrician at Furness General Hospital Joshua Titcombe had a low temperature.

A hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) concluded the baby lost a "significant chance of survival."

His father James Titcombe said he was glad the "truth had finally emerged."

The panel is now considering whether the midwives are fit to continue practising.

Joshua, referred to as Baby A, was born in October 2008, but died nine days later after suffering pneumococcal septicaemia and a lung haemorrhage.

'Repeatedly warned staff'

Panel chairman Stuart Gray said both women had been "guarded" when giving evidence and appeared to have "distanced" and "detached" themselves from the events of the day.

He told Ms Biggs: "You were the midwife responsible for the care of baby A shortly before his collapse."

He said that rather than going to a doctor "you took matters into your own hands and placed baby A into a warming cot."

Ms Biggs failed to ensure three-hourly observations were made on Joshua, the panel found. It also found she failed to make proper notes on Joshua's mother Hoa.

The failure by both midwives "denied baby A any opportunity to be seen, assessed and treated by a paediatrician", Mr Gray said.

He added: "This was the significant chance for baby A that was lost."

Mr and Mrs Titcombe, from Dalton-in-Furness, have both claimed they repeatedly told hospital staff that Mrs Titcombe was unwell the day before giving birth and that they were concerned about the possibility of her catching an infection from her sick daughter who had been sent home ill from nursery.

An inquest in 2011 heard the midwives repeatedly missed chances to spot and treat the baby's infection.

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