Midwife 'went out for tea break'

A hearing has been told how an experienced midwife stunned her colleagues after they discovered she had gone for a cup of tea while one her patients was due to give birth.

Helen Bannister was highly regarded among staff at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, with more than three decades of service.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel in Cardiff heard Mrs Bannister later wrote over an entry in the patient's medical records, which had been written by one of her colleagues

The matter had previously been dealt with in-house by hospital bosses, but they decided to bring it to the attention of the medical watchdog after she was accused of sending home a pregnant woman who had pre-eclampsia.

But two years later, she found herself the subject of fresh disciplinary proceedings after adjusting a different patient's medical records - this time ones which were 17 years old.

Mrs Bannister was not present at the hearing, and officials said she had not made any representations against the three allegations.

NMC officials said although Mrs Bannister had retired, the case needed to be investigated to uphold the public's faith in the nursing profession.

The four-day hearing is due to finish on Thursday.