Cumbria

Joshua Titcombe death: Midwife suspended for nine months

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

A midwife whose failings led to the death of a baby boy in Cumbria has been suspended for nine months.

Holly Parkinson was one of the midwives caring for newborn Joshua Titcombe at Barrow's Furness General hospital in November 2008.

She faced being struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council after being found to have committed a string of errors.

These included not reporting Joshua's low temperature to doctors.

Joshua was one of 11 babies to die after being treated at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust over a nine-year period.

Mrs Parkinson was among a number of employees investigated after an inquest five years ago heard staff repeatedly missed chances to spot and treat a serious infection which led to Joshua's death after just nine days.

Mrs Parkinson will now be unable to practise for nine months, after which her case will be reviewed.

She has apologised to the baby's family but, eight years later, remains in denial about her role in what happened, a panel at the hearing in London was told.

Image caption Joshua was being treated at Furness General Hospital

Joshua, from Dalton-in-Furness, died after suffering pneumococcal septicaemia and a lung haemorrhage.

A hearing last month found Mrs Parkinson, who had been working as a midwife for five years at the time, failed in her duty to look after him properly, causing him to "lose a significant chance of survival".

She did not get a doctor when she recorded Joshua's low temperature, and admitted failing to document advice that observations should be carried out on the newborn.

The failures denied Joshua "any opportunity to be seen, assessed and treated" by a paediatrician, the panel ruled.

Chairman Stuart Gray said Mrs Parkinson appeared to still be in denial and "not fully accepting" of the impact of her actions.

He said she was at times "evasive, controlled and detached" when explaining what happened.

Mr Gray added: "There is a risk, albeit a low risk, of repetition which could once again place patients at risk of harm."

A number of other hearings involving midwives who worked for the trust are under way.

An inquiry led by Dr Bill Kirkup found last year found that a "lethal mix" of failures at the trust led to the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and one mother between 2004 and 2013.

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