The Health & Disability Commissioner has found an obstetrician and District Health Board in breach of the Code of Patient Rights following the delayed delivery of a baby whose mother was admitted to hospital for observation.  The CTG undertaken was abnormal but the doctor and four midwives failed to take appropriate action following the CTG.

The Health & Disability Commissioner found that an emergency caesarean section was the only reasonable option to have been followed instead of that the obstetrician ordered further monitoring and this was not challenged by the midwives on duty.

The HDC found that the doctor failed to provide the patient with services of reasonable care and skill and that he incorrectly interpreted the CTG and failed to recommend the caesarean section as the only appropriate course of action.  He then proceeded to recommend an induction of labour when an urgent caesarean should have been undertaken.

The Health & Disability Commissioner also found that four midwives failed to comply with the District Health Board policy for monitoring and none of them challenged the doctor’s management plan and advocated for the patient.

The doctor and the midwives have all undertaken further training.  The doctor and the Hospital Board are to provide apologies to the patient.

Alan Knowsley

Medical Lawyer