Midwife Accused of Failing to Carry out Tests; ESSENTIAL BLOOD CHECKS WERE SKIPPED, PANEL TOLD

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Byline: By JANE PICKEN Health reporter

A PREGNANT mother with high blood pressure was neglected by a midwife who did not carry out essential routine tests, it is claimed.

Edith Hirst, 54, could not be bothered to take the patient's blood pressure the required four times and then faked records to make it look like she had done her job, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard.

The expectant mother, known as Mrs A, had been referred to an assessment unit at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Hospital as she was at risk of developing the life-threatening blood pressure condition pre-eclampsia.

It is alleged Hirst pretended to the patient that only one blood pressure reading was necessary.

The now-retired midwife, from Longbenton, did not attend the London hearing yesterday and could be struck off if found guilty of misconduct.

David Glendinning, for the NMC, said: "Mrs A was a known hypertensive with a history of pregnancy-induced hypertension. She was at risk of pre-eclampsia and was familiar with having a blood pressure profile undertaken."

Mrs A was admitted to the unit on the afternoon of June 21, 2006, and Hirst was ordered to carry out a blood pressure profile reading for her. This involved taking four blood pressure readings over an hour and creating an average, Mr Glendinning said.

Two days later on June 23, Mrs A came back to the unit as she was still worried about her health.

"During the conversation Mrs A told the midwife she was concerned someone else's blood pressure readings had been entered into her records and she had only had one blood pressure reading taken by the registrant. …