Airedale Hospital midwife told expectant mum to 'hurry' so she could get home for curry, tribunal told

Jeanette Matthews

Jeanette Matthews

First published in News Keighley News: Photograph of the Author by , Aire/Worth Valley Reporter

A midwife desperate to get home after ordering a takeaway curry told a pregnant woman at Airedale Hospital to 'hurry up' and have her baby, a tribunal has been told.

Jeanette Matthews allegedly threatened the expectant mum, saying “if you don't hurry up and have the baby I'm going to cut you”.

The midwife also told her that the labour ward was short staffed and that she did not want to be there, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Matthews was the allocated midwife for 'Patient A' on the labour ward at Airedale Hospital.

Greg Unwin, for the NMC, said: “A complaint was received from a patient or the patient's mother in relation to the registrant's conduct on February 20, 2011.

“Patient A was admitted to Airedale General Hospital on February 19 and delivered her baby during the night shift of the early hours of February 20. The registrant was her allocated midwife.

“It is said that the registrant was rude in her conduct, that she inappropriately asked Patient A to stop using pain relief and that she had the patient in the lithotomy position – which is when the mother's legs are placed in stirrups – without providing any proper explanation or obtaining consent.

“As a result of that complaint the matter was investigated by Ms Sarah Bennett, investigating supervisor of midwives.

“She interviewed the registrant who denied she had told the patient to stop using her pain relief.

“She did admit sometimes saying to mothers that she might have to give them a little cut in order to encourage them to push harder.”

Matthews also claimed she had obtained proper consent before putting the patient into the lithotomy position.

Following the complaint, she was placed on a supervised programme at St James' Hospital, Leeds, when it is said she failed to demonstrate competence as a midwife.

On June 6, 2012, she failed to react when a patient who had recently given birth started hemorrhaging, the panel heard.

And on a second supervised shift, Matthews failed to make proper records for a young, first-time mother for two hours, it is said.

She was suspended following an interview on July 3, 2012.

Matthews faces a series of charges relating to alleged misconduct and lack of competence at the NMC tribunal in London, which she has chosen not to attend.

If the panel finds the allegations proved, she could face a period of suspension or be struck off the register.

Matthews qualified as a nurse in 1987 and as a midwife in 2002.

The hearing continues.

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