A midwife has successfully defended professional misconduct changes brought by the Director of Proceedings which alleged, among other things, that she had an obligation to advise clinical colleagues of a medical condition which could potentially compromise the care she could provide during labour, and that she had an obligation to disclose this to her client.
The midwife had a history of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and became unwell during a difficult birth. After the baby was delivered, the midwife felt unable to continue and left the room asking the staff midwife to remain with the family. The Tribunal found that at the time of the incident, the midwife was not obliged to advise her clinical colleagues or disclose her medical condition to her client, noting that: "[the midwife] had experienced her SVT on relatively few occasions and over a relatively long period of time. The incidents of SVT that related to her clinical professional experience were from an earlier time... and did not impact on her ability to continue the tasks she was performing or interrupt the care she was providing. She found that she could manage the SVT by using the Valsalva breathing technique". The Tribunal also noted that: "[t]he position may now very well be different given what [the midwife] knows about the experience she has had through this whole process", but that this was not a matter for the Tribunal to decide. The midwife's application for name suppression was dismissed on the basis that the public interest outweighed any personal interests identified by the midwife. Jan Scherp532/Mid12/221D