A Nigerian working as a midwife in a UK hospital, Christine Onoade, 46 (pictured), has been sacked following the death of a new born baby.
However, Onoade was cleared of involvement in the baby’s death at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex.
But her colleague faces being struck off after she was found guilty of leaving the deceased in a hospital stationery cupboard.
Yvonne Musonda-Malata, 35, (pictured below) left the four-day-old child’s cot in the unlit and unventilated cupboard – where the little one was found covered in vomit, on her stomach and suffocating.
Nursing regulators have ruled that she did so and are meeting today to decide whether Musonda-Malata’s extraordinary actions amount to misconduct – for which the sanctions include a ban from practising.
The case, being heard at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London, comes as NHS staff have been warned they may in future face criminal charges if they neglect patients.
Musonda-Malata’s actions at the Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex, were only discovered when nursery nurse Alex Curtis went to get an envelope – and was horrified to find the baby shut in with the stationery.
The child is believed to have been there for around 20 minutes.
Musonda-Malata, who was suspended but continues to work at Queen’s, initially admitted responsibility, but later changed her story and accused Miss Curtis of lying.
Nursing and Midwifery Panel chairman Lesley White said yesterday: ‘The panel found Miss Curtis to be a credible and consistent witness.
‘She had no motive to be untruthful and the panel has no reason to believe she was mistaken.’
She said that Musonda-Malata’s decision to shut the baby in the cupboard ‘amounted to a failure to provide clinical care’.
Musonda-Malata claimed she left the baby in Onoade’s care while she was away with another patient
But the hearing heard that when she was asked, immediately after the baby was discovered, what she had done, Musonda-Malata told ward sister Martina Cheng: ‘I have made a mistake, I’m in big trouble’
Musonda-Malata later claimed that her confession was inaccurate and only made because she was not in ‘the right frame of mind’ and ‘just wanted to write something in the notes and get out of the place’.
Musonda-Malata’s claims were rejected by the panel, which also found her guilty of failing to provide appropriate clinical care in that she did not accurately record the baby’s feeds while she was in her keeping.
Onoade was cleared of the same charge after the panel ruled that had not been part of her duties.