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Health visitor fired for failings while working at Hove clinic
A health visitor was sacked after ignoring injuries on twin babies because she did not expect it in “this sort of family”, it has been alleged.
The babies were taken into emergency police protection after staff at a hospital finally raised the alarm.
Retired Marie-Anne Clark was a health visitor working at NHS-run Conway Court Clinic in Hove when she visited the twins, who have not been named, at the end of October last year.
Photographs were taken of the babies but despite this, it is alleged Mrs Clarke did not check them for injuries. But just days later, the twins were taken to hospital with injuries and treated for tearing and bruising.
Police were granted emergency custody and a court hearing took place – where Mrs Clark was called to give evidence.
Her evidence raised concerns about her methods and a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel has now met to discuss whether she made mistakes.
She also faces allegations of gossiping about a second family’s background – including allegations of abuse – with her partner.
The NMC hearing said: “The allegations come within four main areas of her practice: poor health visiting practice pertaining to child protection, poor record keeping, failing to maintain professional boundaries and breaching confidentiality.
“With respect to the poor health visiting practice pertaining to child protection it is alleged that, as mentioned above, bruising on one of the twins was missed by Mrs Clark despite the fact photographs were taken of both babies (not by Mrs Clark) during her home visit on October 31, 2012. When questioned later Mrs Clark stated she did not expect to find bruising in this sort of family and she was not looking for bruising.”
It was further alleged that Mrs Clark noted the babies had been, “prop fed, bottles in cot”, and failed accordingly to advise the mother of the risks which she later admitted she should have done and there was “much information that simply was not documented”.
Mrs Clark retired in March last year only to return on a part-time basis in May of the same year.
A trust spokeswoman said: “As a result of serious concerns raised about her practice, Marie-Anne Clark was suspended from duties at Sussex Community NHS Trust in April 2013 and she was dismissed from the trust’s employment in July 2013, following a formal hearing.
“At the time of dismissal, Sussex Community NHS Trust referred Mrs Clark’s case to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). We will continue to work with the NMC throughout the ongoing review.”
Ms Clark, who did not attend the hearing on August 22 in London, has temporarily been suspended from practising as a nurse, midwife and health visitor for 18 months so the NMC can investigate fully.
Attempts were unsuccessfully made to contact her.
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