Tribunal suspends midwife’s registration for six months

07 Apr 2016

A tribunal has suspended the registration of a practitioner for six months who failed to provide clinically appropriate midwifery care to a patient.

A tribunal has suspended the registration of a practitioner for six months who failed to provide clinically appropriate midwifery care to a patient and has set out extensive conditions for when the midwife returns to practice.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) has found that registered nurse and midwife Ms Nicola Dutton engaged in professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct in that she failed to provided clinically appropriate midwifery care to a patient.

The tribunal references a number of failures including failure to consult with a medical practitioner, failure to transfer the patient to hospital in an appropriate timeframe and not recommending that the patient was transferred to a hospital nearest to the patient’s home.

The tribunal determined that Ms Dutton should have her registration suspended for six months with effect from 1 May 2016 and that after that period upon returning to practise as a midwife she should be subject to extensive additional conditions.

The additional conditions imposed will restrict her practise to a public hospital with maternity services for a minimum period of 24 months (if the hospital has a publicly funded home birth program) and a minimum of 30 months (if the hospital does not have such a program). She will also be subject to specific conditions set out by the tribunal relating to her work practises, supervision and reporting requirements.

The tribunal also applied conditions requiring that when Ms Dutton completes the hospital supervision period outlined by the tribunal, and returns to private practice as a midwife, she needs to be supervised for a minimum period of six or 12 months (depending on the circumstances of the hospital supervision) and will need to comply with additional audit and reporting requirements.

The tribunal also reprimanded the midwife and imposed additional education requirements to be completed before she returns to practise as an independent or privately practising midwife.

The tribunal’s decision is available on the AustLII website.

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Page reviewed 7/04/2016