Scots midwife sacked over newborn’s death

Midwife Brenda Hinshaw had a 33-year unblemished record. Picture: Perthshire Advertiser
Midwife Brenda Hinshaw had a 33-year unblemished record. Picture: Perthshire Advertiser
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A SCOTS midwife has been sacked after a pregnant woman in her care lost her baby.

Brenda Hinshaw, who has been a registered midwife since 1981, was fired for “gross misconduct” following two serious incidents which occurred while she worked as a midwifery team leader at the Perth Community Maternity Unit (PCMU) at Perth Royal Infirmary.

The midwife is now being investigated over a number of allegations by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and if she takes any other job she will be placed under “conditions of practice”, allowing her to be monitored.

An NMC fitness to practice panel, sitting in Edinburgh, heard how a pregnant woman was transferred from PCMU to the labour suite at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee as an emergency on 22 July last year.

A Caesarean section was carried out but the baby showed no sign of life at birth, and attempts to resuscitate the child failed.

An analysis was then undertaken which allegedly raised concerns about Ms Hinshaw’s midwifery practice at PCMU.

It alleged that a “clear rationale” for decision-making was not evident from Ms Hinshaw’s record of care and that it was not up to the standard expected of a registered midwife.

A further incident then came to light where another woman had given birth at Perth CMU on 15 June last year and the baby required resuscitation.

After the delivery was made, the woman developed a post-partum haemorrhage.

It is alleged Ms Hinshaw did not identify the signs and symptoms of the haemorrhage in a timely fashion.

Following a review of both incidents, it was alleged Ms Hinshaw had failed to provide a high standard of care by not recognising deviations from the norm and delaying referral to other health professionals.

It was also alleged she had failed to keep an accurate record of the incidents.

Relating to the second incident, it was alleged Ms Hinshaw had failed to administer and record medication in line with statutory guidelines.

Furthermore, it was claimed Ms Hinshaw had failed to provide best practice care to a baby requiring resuscitation at birth.

Ms Hinshaw – who has had an unblemished record for 33 years – was suspended from her duties while further enquiries were made.

At a meeting in September last year, Ms Hinshaw said she recognised the record of care she kept on 22 July did not reflect the care she delivered.

She also claimed she knew something was wrong on 15 July but recognised this did not come across in her record.

Ms Hinshaw was dismissed for gross misconduct at a disciplinary meeting on 4 February. She will appeal the decision next month.