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A Midwife Who Was Found Guilty Of Misconduct Over The Death Of A Newborn Infant Six Years Ago In Shropshire Has been Struck Off


Claire Roberts was investigated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for failures in the care she gave to Pippa Griffiths - who died a day after being born at home in Myddle, Shropshire.

An independent disciplinary panel described the midwife as "a danger to patients and colleagues".

Ms Roberts, who was not present at the hearing, now has 28 days to appeal.

The decision has been welcomed by Pippa's parents Kayleigh and Colin Griffiths.

Ms Roberts and fellow midwife Joanna Young failed to realise the "urgency" of medical attention needed, following the birth, the panel said.

They had failed to carry out a triage assessment, after Pippa's mother called staff for help because she was worried about her daughter's condition.

The panel concluded Ms Roberts's fitness to practise was impaired.

Inaccurate record-keeping by Ms Roberts represented "serious dishonesty", panel chair David Evans said, adding she had carried it out "in order to protect herself from disciplinary action".

'Lack Of Remorse'

Her failures had represented a "significant departure from standards expected by a registered midwife," he added.

Mr Evans said she had also failed to engage with the NMC or give evidence and had shown a "lack of insight, lack of remorse and lack of remediation identified around the areas of concern".

Her colleague Ms Young, whose case was also heard by the panel, faced strong criticism on Wednesday, but was told she would face no sanction after the hearing concluded she had shown remorse and undergone extra training since 2016.

Kayleigh Griffiths said she and her husband welcomed the findings and sanctions.

"We're really relieved that one of the midwives has been struck off and actually we're also relieved to find that the other midwife has learnt and feels significant remorse for the event that took place," she said.

"We realise people do make mistakes and I think how you deal with those mistakes is really important.

"All we do ask is that learning was made from those and I think in one of the instances it did occur and in the other it didn't - so I think the right outcome has been found."

There was also criticism during the hearing of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which the panel heard had demonstrated shortcomings including in leadership, communication and records systems.

'Could Have Survived'

In noting the judgment and the action that has been taken, SaTH director of nursing Hayley Favell said: "We offer our sincere condolences to the family over the loss of their daughter and, as a trust, we take full responsibility for the failings in the standard of care given to mothers and babies, for which we apologise unreservedly.

"We remain committed to taking all of the steps necessary to improve and all our work is driven by a determination to ensure that we deliver safe, effective, reliable and high-quality services to the women and families we are caring for."

Pippa was just 31 hours old when she died from a Group B Strep infection. An inquest in 2017 found she could have survived with earlier intervention.

Since then, her parents have called for routine testing for the Group B Strep bacteria and have been among the most prominent campaigners for a wider inquiry into maternity standards at SaTH.

It has become what is thought to be the largest maternity inquiry in the NHS's history.

Its chair Donna Ockenden was due to publish her findings this month, but families have been told this will be delayed due to parliamentary processes.

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