KGH midwife’s errors placed babies’ lives at risk

Kettering General Hospital, where Eleanor Braithwaite worked for 20 years
Kettering General Hospital, where Eleanor Braithwaite worked for 20 years

A former Kettering Hospital midwife has been struck off and barred from future practice by a panel in London after she was found to have made a series of errors.

Eleanor Braithwaite worked at Kettering General Hospital for more than 20 years.

However, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel decided earlier this month that she had to be struck off as she had placed patients at risk of “unwarranted harm”.

The panel heard Braithwaite had made a number of mistakes in 2010 including not identifying abnormal readings in babies, not escalating abnormal readings with senior medics and altering records of drugs administered to patients.

The charges related to four different patients and dated from January and February 2010.

The panel’s decision prevents Braithwaite from working in a health-related role in the future, although in a letter to them Braithwaite said she had already decided to “forfeit” her nursing career.

Mum Angela Hawkes, 47, from Pytchley Road in Kettering, who lost her newborn son Blake Hicks in 2004 just hours after he was born, said she was pleased with the news but believed the NMC should have done something sooner.

Braithwaite was placed under a period of supervised practice after the baby’s death in a bid to address a number of areas of concern in her practice, including record keeping and organisational skills.

Although the NMC investigated Braithwaite’s conduct at the time, the case was closed in October 2006 as a committee decided there was no case to answer.

The panel also heard Braithwaite was dismissed from Kettering Hospital but reinstated on appeal after an incident in 2006 when a baby died after she identified a suspicious CTG reading but discontinued the reading to speak to a registrar. The baby died less than an hour later.

In its report, the NMC panel said: “There is little evidence that Ms Braithwaite has developed any genuine insight into the failings in her practice.

“Nor is there indication that she has recognised the risk of harm to patients and the potential damage to the reputation of her profession resulting from her actions.”

The panel also heard that following her departure from Kettering General Hospital, Braithwaite had taken on another nursing role but had also been dismissed from there as a result of a “lapse in concentration” resulting in another error.