New-born baby fell in toilet after South Tyneside mother was ‘fobbed off’ by midwife - hearing told

South Tyneside Hospital
South Tyneside Hospital

A new born baby fell into a toilet after the mother was repeatedly "fobbed off" by her midwife and delivered the child herself in the cubicle, a hearing was told.

The woman was told she was hours away from giving birth at the delivery suite at South Tyneside District Hospital in March 2014, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Midwife Diane Harmer failed to examine the woman after she complained of intense pressure and did not take her pain seriously, it is claimed.

"I was told to just get out of bed and go to the toilet," the woman said.

"When I said I didn't feel like I could, Diane Harmer told me that if I wanted to go, just go in the sheets.

"I felt humiliated and undignified."

Harmer moaned that she should win the lottery because of mess she had to clear up and the amount of horrible things she had to do, the hearing was told

Eventually the patient got up and struggled to the toilet with the help of her sister and husband.

"I felt something and looked down and my sister saw the baby's head," she said.

"I then delivered him into the toilet and dropped him.

"'My husband lifted my baby out of the toilet.

The woman told the panel Harmer did not apologise and then lied about her actions.

"She just said, I told you not to get out of bed,' the mother said.

"But it was Diane Harmer that made me feel forced to get out of bed.

"She was saying it was my fault for getting out of bed."

Harmer's general attitude to the mother was sarcastic and condescending, the panel heard.

After the traumatic birth the woman said she disorientated and left covered in blood.

"I couldn't even hold my own baby," she told the hearing.

"I was covered in blood, I felt very dirty and unclean.

"I had blood all down my legs and all over my feet."

Harmer told her they were too busy to help clean her straight away, the panel heard.

She described how she later heard Harmer say: "He's one of mine and I have not held him."

The midwife was constantly dismissive of the patient's pain and routinely 'fobbed off' her pleas for pain relief.

She is charged with failing to provide an adequate standard of care to Patient B and two other patients along with using inappropriate language towards Patient B.

Harmer who is not attending the hearing, admits to two counts of not counter signing a student midwife's notes but denies all other charges.

The hearing continues.