Mid­wife in hos­pi­tal saga tem­po­rar­ily re­lieved of du­ties

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

MAN­DEV­ILLE, Manch­ester: HE SOUTH­ERN Re­gional Health Au­thor­ity (SRHA) has re­vealed that the in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Shelly-Ann Smith, the woman who in­vol­un­tar­ily gave birth to her baby on the streets af­ter be­ing turned away from the Chapel­ton Hos­pi­tal, could have been avoided.

At the same time, the au­thor­ity has tem­po­rar­ily re­lieved the mid­wife who is at the cen­tre of the con­tro­versy from her job, pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Wayne Chen, chair­man of SRHA, said the process is be­ing han­dled by the Hu­man Re­source De­part­ment and as such, he is not able to make any fur­ther com­ment.

Re­gional tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor at the SRHA, Dr Michael Coombs, has re­vealed that Smith was a high risk pa­tient who should have been fol­low­ing up with her clinic vis­its, but failed to do so.

“This was her eighth preg­nancy and there is a sig­nif­i­cance where that is con­cerned ... she was con­sid­ered as high risk and prone to more com­pli­ca­tions,” Coombs said on Mon­day at a press con­fer­ence held at the SRHA of­fices in Manch­ester. He noted that when

TSmith went to the Chapel­ton Hos­pi­tal on Novem­ber 4, hav­ing re­ceived signs that she may go into labour, she was in­ter­viewed and then re­ferred to the May Pen Hos­pi­tal, as the fa­cil­ity was thought of as one that could pro­vide bet­ter care for her at the time.


Smith, how­ever, did not make it to the May Pen Hos­pi­tal in time and was forced to have her baby on the streets.

Coombs said that while there is a pol­icy that guides the trans­porta­tion of pa­tients who are re­ferred from one health fa­cil­ity to an­other, no am­bu­lance was avail­able at the time.

Chen said he deeply re­grets what has hap­pened, not­ing that the au­thor­ity is work­ing to pre­vent fu­ture re­cur­rence.

Chen, in ac­knowl­edg­ing word of Smith’s plan to pos­si­bly file a law­suit, said he has no power to deny any Ja­maican that right.

Smith’s daugh­ter is re­port­edly still at the May Pen Hos­pi­tal but is do­ing well.


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