Challenge to order criticising midwife

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A midwife has brought a High Court challenge to a recommendation by the Nursing Board that she should be admonished over the care she provided to a mother during the delivery of her baby which later died.

While there is no allegation that the care of midwife Irene Brennan contributed to the child’s death, the board’s fitness to practise committee found Ms Brennan guilty of professional misconduct in relation to how she dealt with the mother.

It found Ms Brennan gave undue precedence to a birth plan provided by the mother, while failing to address the care she should have given to the woman, who had associated risk factors.

... The committee had not found there was a “serious” falling short of the standard of care expected under which she was being judged ...

The board had never notified this standard of care to the profession of midwives generally ... and this was a breach of fair procedures and natural justice ...

She is seeking an order to cancel the decision to admonish her and require her to undergo retraining on note taking and use of a foetal monitoring device.

... the pregnant woman was admitted to ... Hospital ... at 4am and her baby was born by assisted delivery 11 hours later. The child was in some distress and was transferred to ... intensive care unit and subsequently died ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448