Buck should not stop with the midwives

Readers' Letters | Published:

WELL, the Nursing and Midwifery Council have made their decision to strike from the register the midwives and senior managers involved in the tragic deaths of two babies on the maternity unit.

What now will happen to the medical staff? They must have known about the so-called ‘Guernsey Way’. They must have known that staff were giving drugs that they hadn’t sanctioned because surely they would be asked to sign for them retrospectively.

What kind of an environment were the staff working in, when they were discouraged from contacting doctors in the evenings, who were presumably on call, and being paid for being so?

The midwives have to live with the consequences of their misguided actions, but the buck shouldn’t have stopped with them. It should have and does stop with the doctors.

Have any of the medical staff been questioned at all, or indeed brought to task over the last four years, since the death of the first baby?

We don’t know do we?

My heart goes out to the families involved.

They need answers which hopefully will come with the inquest, but I’m not holding my breath.



Editor’s footnote:

Health & Social Care president Heidi Soulsby replies:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your reader’s letter.

While the doctors referred to in the letter are not employed by HSC, we do commission secondary health care services through the MSG and are responsible for registering all medical practitioners on the island.


HSC has learned from the experiences of the past and has taken action with MSG to improve for the future.

Since the NMC review in 2014, there have been huge changes which have considerably improved the environment for our maternity service users.

We have recruited additional obstetricians, gynaecologists and midwifery staff.

A consultant obstetrician is based on duty at Loveridge Ward at all times and the appointment of the chief nurse and the deputy chief nurse has strengthened the leadership team.

Considerable investment has also been made to the Loveridge Ward itself, helping to make it a more welcoming and relaxing environment.

The HSC of today is not comparable to the organisation of 2014 and we have been working hard to change the organisational culture from one of blame to one that focuses on learning and continuous improvement.


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