The mothers of two Shetland babies cared for by a midwife at Aberdeen Maternity Hospital who has been suspended after concerns were raised about her by colleagues have been informed about the police investigation into her clincal practice.
The women were invited by NHS Shetland to take part in a video-conference session with a consultant obstetrician at the hospital last week when they were re-assured that their babies were not likely to suffer any long-term ill-effects. The details of the allegations against the midwife have not been disclosed.
NHS Shetland’s clinical director Ken Graham said the meeting had been arranged to make sure the “ladies knew about it rather than seeing it on the news” and to try to alleviate any concerns that they might have.
Grampian Police are investigating the care given to 22 mothers and their babies at the hospital, which cares for patients from Shetland, Orkney and Aberdeenshire as well as the city itself. It follows an internal investigation which is said to have “substantiated” the allegations. The midwife has also been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
NHS Grampian chief operating officer Dr Pauline Strachan said: “Understandably we are unable to go into detail without running the risk of prejudicing the investigation.
“However I can reassure the public that our concerns focus on the practice of one individual midwife. We are not investigating any deaths and have no reason to believe there was any systemic failure in an otherwise excellent service.”
She added: “I am satisfied that Aberdeen Maternity Hospital continues to provide a high standard of care for the 400 babies born there every month.”
A Grampian Police spokesman said: “We are investigating a complaint made to us from NHS Grampian. Inquiries are ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Grampian Health Board said it was co-operating fully with the police. An NHS 24 helpline has been set up on 08000 858531.