A new mother was left breast-feeding someone else’s baby after blundering hospital staff gave her the wrong child, a hearing was told yesterday.
Two newborns had been taken away to be cared for just hours after being born, while their mothers rested, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
But ward staff later returned the wrong babies to the women, known as Mother A and Mother B.
When the mix-up was noticed, midwife Jill Ashmore failed to record it and even tried to convince a student not to ‘drop anybody in the s***’ by keeping quiet about it.
David Clarke, for the NMC, said Ashmore also told Mother A that her baby had not been fed, when in fact it had been breast-fed by the other mother.
The blunder happened at Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on November 13, 2007.
Mr Clarke said: ‘Both of the babies were having some trouble settling and were taken from their mothers, with the agreement of the mothers, to a different area where they were looked after by midwives and health care assistants. There was a mistake on their return – in fact there were two mistakes – as Baby B was returned to the Mother A, and Baby A was given to Mother B.
‘When the mistake had been realised, they were recovered and given back to the correct mothers.’
When Ashmore returned Baby A to Mother A, she told her the child had not been fed without checking if this was the case.
As it turns out,’ said Mr Clarke, ‘the baby had been fed; breast-fed by Mother B, who at the time had thought she was feeding her own baby.’
The panel heard that when the blunder was reported to the hospital, Ashmore told student midwife Claire Newton-Jones to say the bare minimum during an internal investigation.
Ashmore admits she failed to record the error in notes and to inform anyone during a shift change, but denies misconduct.
She is not attending the central London hearing, but if found guilty of misconduct she faces being struck off.
The hearing continues.