Charges against midwife dismissed

Last updated 13:11 21/02/2013
Jan Scherp
Jan Scherp

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A medical disciplinary tribunal this morning cleared a Central Otago midwife of any professional misconduct and dismissed the charge after a complicated birth in Southland Hospital.

Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal deputy chair David Carden lifted name suppression against Jan Louise Scherp at the conclusion of the four-day hearing in Queenstown.

A five-part charge against Ms Scherp alleging professional misconduct between January 20 and February 7, 2010, while caring for Sara Gutzewitz and her son Francis, was entirely dismissed.
Ms Scherp worked for Sage Femme at the time of the birth, in which Ms Gutzewitz suffered an extensively damaged perineum.

Mr Carden said the tribunal's oral conclusion would be given in writing at a later date.

He told the hearing the charge was not proven and the five particulars against the midwife were either not borne out or did not amount to professional misconduct.

The allegations dismissed by the tribunal were:

  • Failure to communicate to other midwives or clinical staff on duty that she had a medical anxiety condition, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT);

  • Failure to disclose to Gutzewitz and her husband Conan Wilcox that she had SVT;

  • Failure to adequately communicate this to her client and medical staff when she began to feel unwell and anxious during the labour After the completion of the second stage of labour and before the third stage she left the birthing room without ensuring adequate midwifery or medical care for Gutzewitz and her baby and; after leaving the birthing room she did not immediately ensure adequate midwifery or medical care.

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- The Southland Times

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