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Former midwife accused of baby deaths

Posted in: Birth Injury Medical Negligence Wrongful & Accidental Death 

A hearing expected to last until 15 May is underway to investigate the actions of former midwife, Marie Ratcliffe, and their contribution to the deaths of 2 new born babies. Elleanor Bennett died in 2004 and Alex Davey-Brady in 2008.  The accused also accepts more than 60 additional allegations which include failure to seek doctors’ assistance, failure to adequately monitor mothers and babies during labour and failure to document her actions. She denies, however, attempting to cover-up the mistakes and any effort to “conceal the truth”.

Reading out a letter from Ms Radcliffe, who did not attend the hearing, Amanda Hamilton, representing the Nursing and Midwifery Council, stated that Ms Radcliffe felt that it was important not to delay the investigation and that she apologised to those affected by her mistakes. She stated that the system in which she operated was “flawed”, but that she was “goverened” by those procedures.  She also stated that she would “regret” the results of her actions for the rest of her life. 

“lethal mix” of failings

The 64 allegations affecting 14 patients took place between 2004 and 2013. Ms Dawes was dismissed by the Council for 18 months in February 2014 pending investigation, however she confirmed that she has “no intention” of returning to her profession.

Gary Leong, chairman of the panel stated that it was very clear that Ms Dawes did not wish to defend herself as she chose not to attend the hearing which took place in Stratford, east London.

Investigations have been carried out by Cumbria police, who confirmed last week that they would not be pressing any charges against any member of staff at the hospital. An independent inquiry has also been undertaken during which a lethal mix” of failings at the maternity unit contributed to the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and one mother.

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