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Midwife cautioned over Stafford Hospital baby tragedy

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A midwife who silenced an alarm 16 times during a shift at a scandal-hit hospital as a baby's pulse rate slowed dramatically was let off with a caution.

Carol Marston and colleague Anne Mather failed to act as Rupert Sanders' heart rate plummeted overnight at Stafford Hospital.

The pair failed to properly monitor his heart in the minutes before his birth and delayed pressing the emergency alarm, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Rupert was born with the umbilical cord tied round his neck just after 1am on Christmas Eve, 11 hours after his mother Lauren went into labour. He died three days later of multiple organ failure.

Marston was handed a five-year caution while Mather, who did not attend the hearing, was suspended for 12 months.

NMC panel chairman Joy Julien said: "Your actions had the most serious of consequences for baby Rupert, his mother, her husband and her family.

However, because of the seriousness of the case, taking no further action would not fully satisfy the public interest considerations in this case.

"Mrs Mather has demonstrated a worrying lack of insight into her actions.

"Her responses demonstrate a disregard for the mother and her husband, the mother's family and also for her colleagues on that shift – including Mrs Marston.

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"Mrs Mather's misconduct also demonstrated a serious lack of leadership and management of the situation."

Parents Lauren and Robert were in tears when the panel earlier ruled that the midwives' fitness to practice was impaired by reason of misconduct.

Giving evidence during the hearing, Marston said she did not see there was 'anything of concern' in the hours before the birth and failed to notice the CTG was 'pathological'.

Mather admitted to misclassifying the CTG and not escalating the situation. She denied but was found to have failed to report loss of fetal contact on the CTG, or irregular contractions.

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