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Midwife who put baby in cupboard cautioned by NMC

A midwife has been given a three year caution order after leaving a four-day-old baby face down in a stationery cupboard.

Yvonne Musonda-Malata, 35, was responsible for caring for the newborn girl while her sick mother slept, a disciplinary panel heard.

But she “failed to provide appropriate clinical care” to the baby while working on a night shift at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, in 2011, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found.

The NMC disciplinary panel decided to impose the sanction on Ms Musonda-Malata after ruling that her fitness to practise was impaired.

The panel was told that she tended to the baby, known as Baby A, in a cot by the midwives station before moving it into a large stationery cupboard after it became unsettled.

The incident, which occurred on April 18, 2011, was reported by Alex Curtis, a nursery nurse at the hospital who found the baby alone in the cupboard at about 6:30am.

She told the tribunal: “I went to the post-natal ward to get an envelope from the stationery cupboard and found a baby lying on its tummy on its own. The baby was in the cot just behind the door. I cannot remember whether the light was off or on, but I saw baby on its front and went to check if it was breathing.

“We always lie a baby on its back as there is a risk of cot death.

“If, as a nursery nurse, I took responsibility for a parent’s baby, I would never leave it alone. If I needed to go off and do something, I would ask another nurse to look after the baby.”

Derek Zeitlin, the case presenter at the NMC, said: “The baby’s mother has a health condition and it is vitally important for her to get a good night’s sleep. Her husband therefore invited the midwives to take the baby away so that his wife could get a good night’s sleep.”

Ms Musonda-Malata protested her innocence throughout proceedings.

“I did not put the baby in the cupboard at all. At all. I did not,” she told the panel.

Colleague Christine Onade was cleared of all charges against her.

 

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