Marie Ratcliffe had admitted she “made mistakes” that contributed to the deaths of the two babies at Furness General Hospital.
Investigations into Ms Ratcliffe’s conduct followed exposure of serious maternity care deficiencies at the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust. It is thought that 11 babies died unnecessarily during the time in question.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) concluded the “only appropriate sanction” was a “striking off order”.The panel said her actions, relating to a period between 2004 and 2013, were “fundamentally incompatible” with her remaining on the register.
Ms Ratcliffe was the first of several midwives from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to be investigated and the vast majority of allegations brought against her by the National Midwifery Council (NMC) were proven.
In a statement, the NMC said: “The tragic events at the trust led to two independent reports and a significant review of midwifery regulation, and particularly the role of midwifery supervision. We are now seeking the urgent change to our legislation to enable us to deal with cases like this more quickly and to remove supervision from our remit and to give us direct control of regulatory decisions affecting midwives.”
Ms Ratcliffe said she would “regret” what happened for the rest of her life but denied being part of any cover-up or an effort to “conceal the truth”.
Gary Leong, chair of the NMC said: “The failings were repeated over a 10 year period and she [Ms Ratcliffe] showed a persistent lack of insight into her actions. Her conduct was a very significant departure from standards expected of a midwife. Her contribution to the deaths of babies B and C amounts to serious misconduct. She has breached public confidence in the profession.”
Patrick Oliver, Clinical Negligence specialist at Setfords Solicitors, comments: “What is even more concerning is the fact that this substandard care was allowed to continue undetected for almost 10 years. My heart goes out to the families of these children who must now live with the consequences. I hope that following the independent report, sufficient systems are in place to prevent further tragedies like this.”