3:40pm Friday 7th December 2012
A midwife is under investigation amid allegations she failed to properly care for a seriously ill baby who was subsequently delivered stillborn.
Linda Pallett has been suspended with pay from the Royal Sussex County Hospital following the tragedy on August 11 and 12 this year.
It is alleged that Pallett – who has been investigated for clinical failings before – did not recognise that the baby she was delivering, who has not been named, was seriously ill.
A scan showed the baby was suffering from a potentially fatal rapid heart rate, but midwife watchdog the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has claimed that Pallet failed to recognise this and act accordingly.
It also alleged that she “failed to escalate an acute situation [and] failed to keep monitoring.”
The NMC also reported there were “failures in documentation” in relation to the incident.
NMC papers, released following a hearing in London in November, reported that Pallett had been investigated for misdemeanours just a few years ago. She allegedly failed to understand a “clinical situation”.
The papers said: “The panel heard that you were subject in 2008 to alleged failings in interpretation of a clinical situation, lack of observations of a client, and lack of documentation and escalation of the situation. For this you eventually completed a period of supervised practice in 2011.”
A review of her skills was carried out in January 2012, and no concerns were raised.
After the baby was delivered stillborn in August, a Local Supervising Authority (LSA) meeting was held.
In October this meeting reported back that Pallett, understood to live in Rottingdean, should carry out 450 more hours of supervised work. However, the LSA subsequently suspended her on October 25.
Barred from practise
The NMC has now imposed more orders on her while they investigate the case. These orders will run for 18 months and then they will report back to her.
It said she must not practice as a midwife until she had successfully completed a new period of supervised practice as approved by the LSA, she must not practise as a registered nurse until she had successfully completed a return to nursing course and she must inform relevant people about the conditions imposed on her.
A Brighton and Sussex University Hospital spokesman said: “We are aware of the case and can confirm the midwife is not currently working at BSUH.
"We are reviewing the case and are working with the LSA Midwifery Officer to meet the conditions of practice.”
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