26th May 2018
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Shetland mother who had caesarian birth under direction of suspended midwife speaks out

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A new mother has said she may have had a caesarian section unnecessarily when in the care of a midwife in Aberdeen now being investigated by police.

Charlene Fordyce, 22, from Lerwick, gave birth to her daughter Kerryn Leah Kane 11 weeks ago in Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.

But last week she heard from health chiefs in Aberdeen that the section may not have been required.

Ms Fordyce was then interviewed by a consultant obstetrician by teleconference, and told that the treatment she and her daughter had received by the midwife was being investigated by Grampian Police, along with 21 other cases from the last two and a half years. The midwife was suspended on 19th March after colleagues raised serious concerns.

Ms Fordyce said she had been robbed of the experience of a natural birth. “I was told I might not have needed to have a caesarian. I was looking forward to having her naturally, but I didn’t get that. I felt like I did not bond with her because of that.”

She said that although the care she had received before and during the birth had been good, it was not so good afterwards. “I was looked after quite well to begin with but after I had her, I wasn’t looked after as well because my partner was rushed out of the room half an hour after I came round from my operation, which I found very upsetting.”

NHS Grampian has received more than 100 calls on a helpline from anxious parents who fear they may have been in the care of the unnamed midwife.

Health bosses insist no baby has suffered long-term health effects but have pledged to leave “no stone unturned” in their investigations. They refused to disclose details of the investigation.

Although the allegations against the midwife centre on the care of 22 mothers and babies, police are reviewing hundreds of cases going back to 1990 when the midwife joined the staff at Scotland’s biggest maternity unit.

Following an internal inquiry, in which the allegations were substantiated, the midwife was reported to the police. She has also been referred to the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

A spokesman for NHS Grampian said the investigation is ongoing and counselling has been made available to the families concerned.

An NHS helpline 08000 858531 has been set up for families who may have been affected by the case.

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About Rosalind Griffiths

I am a Shetland Times reporter covering news, including health stories, and features. I have been in Shetland for more than 30 years.

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