A NEW mother was left feeding someone else’s baby after blundering hospital staff gave her the wrong child, a hearing was told on Monday.
Midwife Jill Ashmore tried to persuade a student to keep quiet about the mistake after an inquiry was mounted at Bassetlaw Hospital, it is claimed.
The babies had been switched only hours after they were born on 13th November 2007, when they were taken away to be cared for while the mothers rested, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
But ward staff later returned the wrong babies to the mothers, known as Mother A and Mother B.
When the mix up was eventually noticed, Ashmore failed to record it happening, before trying to convince a student midwife not to say anything.
She also told Mother A that her baby had not been fed, when in fact it had been breast fed by the other mum.
“These events occurred when the registrant was working as a midwife at the Bassetlaw Hospital,’ said David Clarke, for the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
“Over night both of the babies were having some trouble settling and were taken from their mothers, with the agreement of the mothers, to a different area where they were looked after by midwives and health care assistants.”
“There was a mistake on their return - in fact there were two mistakes - as Baby B was returned to the Mother A, and Baby A was given to Mother B.”
He told the hearing that when the mistake had been realised, they were recovered and given back to the correct mothers.
“When the registrant was returning Baby A to Mother A, she told the mother that the baby had not been fed during the period they had been separated,” continued Mr Clarke.
“It is alleged that the registrant told the mother this without determining if that was correct.”
“As it turns out, the baby had been breast fed by Mother B who at the time had thought she was feeding her own baby.’”
The panel heard that the mistake was reported and investigated by the hospital, at which point Ashmore told student midwife Claire Newton-Jones to cover up the blunder.
“During the course of the internal investigation of what had happened the registrant attempted to influence what a student midwife, who was present, was going to say to that internal investigation,” Mr Clarke added.
He said Ashmore told Ms Newton-Jone that she should not say anything about Mother B breast feeding the baby of Mother A, and should say the bare minimum.
Ashmore admits failing to record the error in the mothers’ notes and failing to inform anyone at the time of the change over of one shift to another.
She had denied the rest of the charges, but is not attending the central London hearing.
If found guilty of misconduct she faces being struck off. The hearing continues.