A midwife behaved in an “entirely inappropriate” and “unprofessional manner” after she spoke to the media about the fostering arrangements for a baby born to an HIV positive mother, a disciplinary hearing has been told.
Tricia McDaid, 50, gave interviews to the Daily Mail, BBC and ITV after becoming “unhappy” about a decision not to tell foster carers that a baby’s mother, named only as Patient B, was HIV positive, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard.
Michael Collis, counsel for the NMC, told the hearing that as well as not informing the foster parents about the child’s condition, “it also appears that steps were taken to disguise the medication that Patient B’s baby was required to take while she was with the foster carers”.
He added: “The registrant (Mrs McDaid) made it clear that she was unhappy with the fact that Patient B’s HIV status was not being disclosed to the foster carers.”
He told the hearing that Mrs McDaid had “shouted” at Patient B and social workers at a meeting after the baby was born.
He said the NMC was not asserting that Mrs McDaid was wrong to raise her concerns.
But he said: “The assertion by the NMC is that the registrant behaved in an entirely inappropriate and unprofessional manner in the way in which she raised these concerns, both in terms of her conduct at the core group meeting … and by speaking to the media in detail about Patient B and her child.”
Mrs McDaid, 50, has denied a series of allegations before the NMC of making “inappropriate” comments and behaving in an aggressive and abusive way, at a hearing of the NMC conduct and competence committee in central London.
Mrs McDaid was struck off by the NMC in 2012 but her case is being reheard after a successful appeal in the High Court earlier this year.
Mrs McDaid denies a charge of making inappropriate comments after telling a woman, named only as Patient A, that her baby looked “very white” during a home visit, in January 2009.
“During the course of the registrant’s (Mrs McDaid’s) routine visit to Patient A’s house the registrant made several inappropriate comments, centred around the colour of Patient’s A’s child,” Mr Collis said.
“This included the comment ‘your baby looks very white’, ‘he is very fair, people may ask if you are the nanny’, ‘people may think that you have had an egg donation, because he is so white’,” he said.
Mrs McDaid described the charge as “nonsense” and said: “I said nothing inappropriate.”
Mrs McDaid, originally from Strabane, Northern Ireland, denied acting in a “verbally aggressive” manner in May 2009 during an investigatory meeting with two local supervising authority midwifery officers, Susan Crow and Barbara Kuypers.
“During the course of the meeting the registrant shouted at both women and had to be asked to calm down on several occasions,” Mr Collis told the hearing.