26 October 2016
Midwife Struck Off For Care Failings
Midwife, Lindsey Biggs, has been struck off for care failings that contributed to the death of baby boy, Joshua Titcombe at Barrow's Furness General Hospital, in Cumbria.
In 2008, Ms Biggs and a colleague committed repeated acts of medical negligence that caused the nine-day-old baby to “lose a significant chance of survival.” Joshua had suffered pneumococcal septicaemia and a lung haemorrhage. Ms Biggs was found to have failed to report to a paediatrician that the baby had a low temperature, and also failed to ensure three-hourly observations were made on him.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) tribunal heard there was a "high risk” the midwife would repeat these errors in care, with the tribunal ruling that she fell “well below” the expected standards of a registered midwife.
An NMC spokesman told the BBC: "The independent panel clearly recognised that should she remain on the register Ms Biggs would pose a significant risk to the public, therefore it is right that she has been struck off."
A number of further hearings involving midwives who worked for the trust are underway, with Holly Parkinson, who was also responsible for Joshua’s care, suspended for nine months for not referring matters to a paediatrician.
Having acted for many parents and families at the incredibly sad and traumatic time of the loss of a baby, it is troubling to learn of Ms Biggs’ lack of remorse, with the Titcombe family having been put through such a long and arduous ordeal to find answers for this terrible and avoidable loss.
The fact that it took the NMC so long to investigate and take action in this sad case is also very concerning.
One can only hope that lessons are finally being learnt from the mistakes made in Joshua’s care and the life-affecting consequences that medical negligence can have on victims and their families.
Ian Cohen is practice group leader and a medical negligence lawyer at Slater and Gordon in Liverpool.
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