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Former Brighton midwife struck off after failing to care for unborn baby
A long-standing midwife who senior colleagues said could not cope with the stresses of the job has been struck off after she failed to properly care for a seriously ill unborn baby who was subsequently stillborn.
Linda Pallett had been a midwife since 1989 and was “well-respected and loved”, her unnamed supervisor at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, said.
But Miss Pallett’s supervisor admitted: “As a midwife [Miss Pallett] is unable to cope with all the stresses that the role currently involves.”
She was struck off earlier this month following an 18-month investigation which followed an earlier enquiry into her behaviour as a midwife.
Previously The Argus reported how mothers including Kelly Harman, of Seaford, had complained about her after giving birth at the hospital.
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The most-recent investigation followed the death of a baby on August 12, 2012, at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
Miss Pallett, understood to live in Rottingdean, was on duty caring for six high-risk pregnancies when the incident happened.
She admitted making a series of errors including failing to recognise a foetus’ heartbeat was suspicious and failing to properly sign documentation.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) papers released after the hearing said: “Miss Pallett was involved in an incident when she was working a late shift on the antenatal ward.
“Miss Pallett was allocated to care for patient A who was 32 weeks pregnant with premature rupture of membranes and who had been admitted on from East Surrey Hospital.
“A cardiotocograph (CTG) was commenced.
“During the 50 minute trace the fetal heart rate baseline was 170 to 180 beats per minute with two deep decelerations.
“Miss Pallett appropriately planned to repeat the CTG due to the raised heart rate.
“However, no referral to a senior midwife or doctor was made.”
The hearing was told another midwife subsequently did alert senior colleagues but the baby died later that night.
An unnamed witness to the events described how Pallett “recorded that the fetal heart rate was 161 – 180 beats per minute (bpm) which indicated that the reading fell into the suspicious category”.
“However, Miss Pallett circled on the sticker that the CTG reading was ‘normal’,” the NMC report said.
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