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Midwife Elizabeth Wiles is struck off after baby Zac's death

By WBCraig  |  Posted: February 21, 2014

Elizabeth Wiles has been struck off

Comments (1)

A MIDWIFE has been struck off after the death of a newborn infant following "shortcomings" during his delivery.

The inquest into the death of baby Zac Bosworth, who died five days after being born in an ambulance outside Helston Birthing Centre, changed the face of midwifery in Cornwall.

The inquest in September heard how midwife Elizabeth Wiles was dismissed by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) after baby Zac’s death in October, 2012.

Following an investigation, RCHT referred the conduct of Ms Wiles to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and changed its midwifery procedures.

Ms Wiles was not present and was not represented during a special hearing at NMC’s offices in London today.

A statement from the NMC said: “The panel concluded that Ms Wiles’ fitness to practice is currently impaired by reason of her misconduct and that the appropriate and proportionate sanction is a striking-off order.

“The panel therefore directs the Registrar to strike Ms Wiles’ name from the register. Ms Wiles may not apply for restoration until five years after the date that this decision takes effect.”

At the inquest in September, an open verdict was recorded into baby Zac’s death.

The inquest heard that Zac's mother Gemma Bosworth, from Falmouth, arrived at Helston Birthing Centre on October 24, 2012, at 7pm.

As she was being transferred to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at 4.55am in an ambulance, baby Zac started to arrive and lead midwife Elizabeth Wiles told the hearing she decided to return to the Birthing Centre to collect equipment to assist the delivery.

At 5.36am Zac was born in the ambulance outside the unit, but was not breathing.

Mother and son were taken to the RCH, with Zac receiving assistance to breathe. When he arrived at the hospital Zac had a breathing tube inserted and was given intensive care, but died on October 30.

Cornwall Coroner Emma Carlyon said she agreed with the cause of death reported after a post-mortem examination, severe hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, a result of a lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.

Ms Wiles was subsequently dismissed and the NMC imposed a 12-month interim suspension order from February 28, 2013, after she failed to appear at the interim order hearing.

The changes introduced by the RCHT as a result of Zac's death include better record-keeping during transfers and a review of the assisting midwife's role.

Birthing units across the county also now have 'grab bags' containing standardised equipment for midwives to take during transfers.

Jan Walters, divisional nurse for women and children's services, told the inquest the trust was "deeply sorry" for the "shortcomings in care" during Zac's delivery.

"A thorough investigation ... found that the midwife did not follow the correct procedures during labour and the transfer to the maternity unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital," she said. "The midwife was subsequently dismissed and her conduct referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

"Since this tragic event all of the recommendations from the investigation have been put in place and mothers-to-be can be confident in the high standards of care they will receive at our birthing

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