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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Cumbria midwife who dropped baby struck off

A woman dubbed ‘Britain’s worst midwife’ has been struck off for a string of blunders including dropping a newborn baby on its head.

Diana Warwick, 56, also used a bed-bound patient’s deodorant for her armpits and polished her shoes with her body wipes.

Warwick went to the woman’s bag when she was recovering from an emergency caesarean section at the West Cumberland Hospital near Whitehaven. She grabbed the aerosol and said she had not used one that day before spraying her armpits.

Warwick – described as Britain’s worst midwife by national newspapers – then put her shoes up on the chair and polished them with wipes intended for the patient’s bed bath.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council also heard how Warwick also dropped a newborn baby onto the floor.

Warwick, from Whitehaven, had been pushing the infant along in a cot when it fell out, landing face down.

She also risked electrocuting a woman in a birthing pool by using equipment to monitor the baby’s heartbeat that was plugged in at the mains socket. The midwife also behaved inappropriately in front of women in labour by putting her face close to theirs and shouting ‘Push!’

The NMC also heard she had been fined £160 for driving without insurance at Whitehaven Magistrates’ Court in 2006, and banned from the road for six months.

Warwick denied all of the charges against her, but a total of 35 were found proved, including that she failed assessments and lacked the knowledge, skill and judgement to practice without supervision.

The hearing began in May 2011, resuming in April of this year when Warwick attended and was represented. After requesting an adjournment, she failed to turn up to the latest hearing and was struck off in her absence.

In a statement, she said she had had a chance to reflect on her actions and now recognised the standard of care she provided fell “far below” what was expected.

She also offered her apologies to any of the patients she had treated during this time, particularly those to whom she had caused distress.

But chairman Andrew Coleman said the panel had no choice but to strike her off the register, describing the incident involving the baby’s cot as “grossly negligent”.

He added: “The findings against Ms Warwick are so serious that to allow her to continue to practice as a nurse would present a risk to members of the public and undermine public confidence in the profession.

“These were not isolated incidents, but were repeated over a sustained period of time. In addition, there is no evidence that appropriate rehabilitative or corrective steps have been taken.”

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