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  1. ITV Report

Midwife in Joshua Titcombe hearing has "case to answer"

Joshua Titcombe Credit: Titcombe family

The Nursing and Midwifery Council ruled that midwife Gretta Dixon, must wait to discover her fate after the panel ruled she had a case to answer over the baby's death. The hearing was postponed until a date to be fixed.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council ruled there was no case for Catherine McCullough to answer. The case was brought after the Kirkup Report revealed a "seriously dysfunctional" maternity unit at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.

The baby's mother, Hoa Titcombe, and the father James, alleged the midwives both failed to refer Mrs Titcombe to a medical practitioner for assessment after she claimed she informed them she felt unwell, in October 2008, three weeks before her due date.

The baby died in November that year, nine days after being born.

Ms McCullough also faced an allegation of failing to take a vaginal swab and/or a urine sample for testing of infection. It was alleged that the pair's fitness to practise was impaired by reason of their alleged misconduct.

But the panel said that although the Titcombes told at least one member of hospital staff about the patient's ill health, there was no evidence to suggest that person was Ms McCullough. The panel also determined that she did not breach guidelines by failing to take a swab or sample.

Ms McCullough held her head in her hands as the panel returned its decisions.

The Titcombes, from Dalton-in-Furness - who were considered by the panel to be "credible witnesses" - said they repeatedly told hospital staff the expectant mother was feeling unwell. She told the hearing, in London, how she was worried about catching an infection from her young daughter, who had been sent home from school after falling ill.

Mrs Titcombe - who was worried her labour was starting three weeks early - said she was told to go home after a discussion about staying or leaving. She agreed she was checked over "with a good degree of care".

Mr Titcombe, a national adviser on patient safety at the Care Quality Commission, successfully argued for an inquest to take place into the death of his son, which heard midwives repeatedly missed chances to spot and treat a serious infection which led to the baby's death.

The Titcombe's were considered by the panel to be "credible witnesses".

Panel chairman Richard Davies said proceedings involving Ms Dixon would resume at a later date.