22 May 2013

Midwife blames failings on trauma from death

9:05 pm on 22 May 2013

A midwife says her poor performance is from psychological trauma relating to a neonatal death nearly a decade ago.

Cheryl Baker is before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in Whanganui charged with misconduct for practising without a certificate and acting unprofessionally in 2010.

Ms Baker told the tribunal on Wednesday that she was suffering from depressive post-traumatic stress relating to a neonatal death in 2004 which affected how she communicated with others.

That death was referred to a coroner, who criticised her actions in not responding quickly enough to the baby's deteriorating condition leading to his death.

Ms Baker was required to complete a competence programme by the Midwifery Council following that death, but failed to do so.

She says being depressed affected her ability to do training and properly pass on her case load when she quit midwifery and became a family planning nurse.