20 Aug 2010

Tribunal cancels Christchurch midwife's registration

5:41 pm on 20 August 2010

A tribunal has cancelled a Christchurch midwife's registration after finding her guilty of professional misconduct.

The midwife appeared before the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal this week facing six charges relating to her treatment of five patients between 2005 and 2008.

On Friday, the tribunal found her guilty of negligence, malpractice and bringing discredit to the profession.

The tribunal was told in one instance, the midwife forced a patient to lie on her back, even though she was suffering from back pain.

She also used a speculum to examine the patient during a contraction and without sufficiently explaining what the examination involved.

Earlier this week, the tribunal heard from another woman who said she called the

midwife repeatedly while she was in labour, but was told to take Panadol and wait. She eventually gave birth on the floor of her laundry before the midwife arrived.

The woman told the tribunal the experience was horrific and scary and when she raised her concerns, the midwife brushed them off.

The tribunal said discipline is warranted due to the midwife's lack of respect, empathy and availability and her failure to give adequate and appropriate advice, care and support.

It said the midwife has knowledge and competency issues, and her notes were at times inadequate and retrospective.

The midwife has been censured and her registration cancelled. She was not fined, but ordered to pay $85,000 in costs.

The tribunal declined the midwife's application for permanent name suppression and lifted the temporary suppression order.

However, her lawyer on Friday successfully sought a temporary stay of proceedings to consider whether to appeal that decision to the High Court.