Cumbria

Morecambe Bay midwife admits she is unfit to practise

Furness General Hospital Image copyright PA
Image caption Midwives at Furness General were criticised over the deaths of babies and a mother

A senior midwife who failed to properly investigate a colleague's shortcomings following the deaths of babies has told the regulator she should be struck off.

Jeanette Parkinson was maternity risk manager at Furness General hospital, where 11 babies and one mother died due to a "lethal mix" of care failings.

A misconduct hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council was told she admitted her fitness to practise was impaired.

It is due to decide whether she should be struck off, or face a full hearing.

Ms Parkinson was one of the midwives caring for newborn Joshua Titcombe, who died at Barrow's Furness General hospital in Cumbria in November 2008.

A review into his death highlighted major failings by midwifes and a reluctance to properly investigate similar deaths.

In 2012 there was an exit deal for Ms Parkinson which allowed her to leave without an investigation into her performance.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Joshua Titcombe died after midwives repeatedly missed chances to spot a serious infection

Grace Hansen, representing the NMC, said: "Jeanette Parkinson was employed as a maternity risk manager at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust between 2004 and 2012.

"Ms Parkinson was also appointed as supervisor of midwives by the professional local supervising authority from November 2002. In 2008 there were two maternal and three neonatal deaths at Furness General Hospital, one of the hospitals at the trust.

"The charges brought by the NMC ... relate to Ms Parkinson's inadequate investigation of each of these tragic events on behalf of the trust.

"Ms Parkinson has admitted many of these charges and accepts that they amount to misconduct and that her fitness to practise is impaired by reason of that misconduct.

"The parties agree that the only appropriate and proportionate sanction is a striking-off order."

Ms Parkinson is the seventh midwife to be investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council over the scandal - two have been struck off and another suspended.

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