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​Paramedic allegedly failed to properly treat newborn baby

By WBCaroline  |  Posted: August 12, 2014


A retired paramedic is alleged to have failed to have given proper treatment to a newborn baby with breathing difficulties and didn’t seek urgent assistance to resuscitate it.

Robert Toney, was working for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) at the time of the incident, will face three charges at a Conduct and Competence Committee hearing in relation to the care of the newborn baby.

This is the second occasion the former paramedic has faced a tribunal – in 2011 Mr Toney was cleared of failing to provide potentially lifesaving treatment for a seven-week-old baby who later died in hospital.

The latest charges relate to an incident on March 5 last year.

It is alleged Mr Toney failed to deliver ventilations to the baby promptly, oxygenate the baby promptly or deliver a warming process to the baby.

He is also charged with failing to act in an urgent manner in relation to a time critical patient, advise the Clinical Hub that the baby was suffering breathing difficulties and request the supporting crew bring resuscitation equipment.

The Health and Care Professions Council hearing will be held between Monday, August 18 and Friday, August 22 in London.

SWAS launched an investigation after ambulance crew raised concerns about whether Mr Toney had followed Trust guidelines.

Mr Toney was only able to work under direct clinical supervision while the investigation took place, and has since retired.

South Western Ambulance Service Deputy Clinical Director, Adrian South said: “During his employment with SWASFT, Robert Toney attended an emergency call to a baby who had just been born in the Plymouth area in March 2013, whilst crewing a rapid-response vehicle.

“He was rapidly backed up within five minutes of arrival, by an emergency ambulance. Following the incident, the ambulance crew raised some concerns around whether trust guidelines had been fully followed.

“The trust immediately initiated an investigation and Mr Toney was only able to work under direct clinical supervision whilst the investigation concluded, which is the standard approach during investigations into clinical issues.

“Following the investigation the Trust made changes to the storage and accessibility of paediatric equipment on our vehicles.

“While no such incident had ever previously occurred, as a result of this case, the Trust placed a third resuscitator in the maternity bag of every emergency vehicle across the South West to ensure that, in future, one would always immediately available in the case of a birth.

“Mr Toney was later managed through the Trust’s capability process and has since retired.

“SWASFT works tirelessly to ensure that every patient receives the highest level of care - a level which we would want our friends and family to receive.

“Where issues are identified, they are managed according to our robust governance processes.”

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