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Hospital probe after father complains that he had to deliver own baby

  • 14 Comments

A father claims he had to deliver his own child after the couple’s midwife left the room.

Thomas Howard was concerned that his partner, 26-year-old Emily Baron, was losing blood, and asked the midwife if that was normal. However, Mr Howard says the midwife then left the room, and did not return until the baby was born.

The hospital has apologised for the incident, but Ruth Gildert, divisional general manager in family care for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust added : “The Trust follows the government’s Safer Childbirth guidelines, giving one-to-one care to women in labour. However these guidelines do not preclude a second opinion, for which the midwife might need to briefly leave the room and speak to a more senior colleague. This is what happened in this case. On occasions, babies can be born unexpectedly quickly, especially if they are not the mother’s first child. This was the situation with Ms Baron.

Ms Gildert continued: “As a result of the concerns expressed we will be looking very closely into what happened and we will be contacting the family directly to discuss their concerns with them . I would like to apologise to Ms Baron and her partner for the distress they experienced when their baby was born. We understand both mother and baby are doing well.”

  • 14 Comments

Readers' comments (14)

  • You need to check your terminology - a midwife is not a 'specialist nurse'. Many midwives undertake direct entry training meaning they are not and never have been nurses!

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  • Midwifes had chips on their shoulders even back when they had to be nurses first - what is their problem?!

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  • Midwives ARE specialists in their own right, and as a qualified RGN and midwife, I do not feel my nurse training directly affects my midwifery practice. The fact that some midwives are directly entered onto the course with little or no nurse training is not a pertinent issue, but just a jibe at the midwifery profession in general, as is the comment that midwives 'have chips on their shoulders'.
    I cannot explain why the midwife in question disappeared and did not appear again until the baby had been born, but her absence at the 'crucial' time may highlight another serious issue-the fact that there are not enough qualified midwives to safely run a labour ward, and do, at times, have more than woman to care for in labour, each with different needs.
    I speak as an experienced midwife currently practising in a climate where there is a chronic shortage of midwifery staff, thus affecting staff morale, and also the amount and standard of care being delivered to these women.

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  • This hospital has a shortage of midwives but they would say they have sufficient.
    Many midwives are leaving due to lack of support from managers and poor working conditions! They just do not care as long as there are no major incidents. Well here we had one!!
    Will anything be done!! NO
    This lack of staff has been going on for years and many of the midwives at East Lancs nhs have had enough and are all but burnt out due to the workload and stress!!
    Speak to the Occupational Health Dept to find out how many midwives and nurses from this Trust are off with stress caused by their working conditions!
    East Lancs now have to save £50 million pounds in the next three years... More cuts!! Dont blame the midwives in all this blame the powers that be!!

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  • Join the Club!! its not just midwives who are stressed, stretched and burnt out, nurses are leaving in droves too! as usual the standard of care is grossly affected and who is it directly linked to?? the poor health professional struggling to cope with an ever expanding work load and no staff! but are the public ever filled in on the reasons for the errors, incidents and omissions in the care they receive?-are they ever told by the powers that be that management are restricting staff budgets, not replacing staff that leave or go on maternity and that further cuts are being made- susprise surprise this all impacts on patient care (and staff sickness, stress levels, ill health) but no as usual the 'incompetent' midwife/nurse is to blame

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  • I have been nursing 30 years plus, and I have never felt this way about my job. Things have changed dramatically, you are expected to be a jack of all trades, I work on a female surgical ward & we are constantly fighting to try to get our patients in for their operations, very often our beds are filled with medical, elderly patients who have social problems & block our beds for weeks on end, you struggle to get enough staff to cover shifts, I am so looking forward to finishing, who knows when that will be, but I am constantly scanning jobcentre plus to look for alternative work, I used to love my job, now it just feels like an uphill struggle with no light at the end of the tunnel.....

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  • And you know what really sucks me off the most, no-one gives a to**!!!!

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  • it is a very sad state of affairs when the powers that be continually deny that there is a serious staff shortage, will they apologise when and i say when not if, serious incidents no they wont it will be the nurse on the ground who will receive the front line attack and as they will want to blame some one and let us not forget in this "no blame culture" who will it be? let me guess? oh yes the nurse not staff shortages or the managers in their ivory towers they need to listen and quickly before there are no staff left.
    nursing is at an all time low wont any one listen before its too late?

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  • It seems that many of the comments above are unrelated to the article. In the above circumstances. I am a registered nurse and not a midwife and I question why the midwife had to leave the room and leave the patient. If there was a criticial situation and she need a second opinion why did she not have a phone, mobile phone or emergency line to obtain the advice or summon the help required. In the day and age of modern technology there was no excuse to leave the patient and husband on their own in circumstances where the patient was bleeding and birth may have been imminent. Is this not common sense. If the midwife did not have this technology available to her it is a systems/organisation error beyond the midwife's control although it is her duty to protect patients in her care and make sure her employer's are aware of what resources are required to provide safe care and avoid life-threatening events.

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  • I refer to the last comment posted 8th February at 2:02pm.
    Like you say, you are not a qualified midwife with no real understanding of current midwifery shortages and the impact of these shortages, or so it would seem.
    The original story stated that the partner allegedly rang for assistance a few times to which no one replied, which, in fact does make the above comments relevant and related to the article. They all refer to hospital units not having enough staff available to attend at 'crucial' times, therefore the numerous comments posted by midwives and nurses alike, are in fact, in support of the midwife in question.

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