A midwife who is being probed over the death of a baby eight years ago has been sacked following an investigation into a new fatality.
Lindsey Biggs is one of a band of midwives accused of colluding to cover up blunders which contributed to the deaths of 12 mothers and babies in the Morecambe Bay scandal.
The group – who dubbed themselves “the musketeers” – have continued working at the NHS trust despite public outrage over the deaths, which occurred between 2004 and 2013.
Ms Biggs is currently under investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for alleged failings linked to the case of baby Joshua Titcombe, who died in 2008.
She is due to appear in front of regulators this week over the case.
But it has now emerged that she has been dismissed by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay trust over the death of another baby, just four months ago.
The new case was referred to the NMC earlier this week, Health Service Journal has disclosed.
This week Ms Biggs will face accusation of failings which may have contributed to the death of baby Joshua, who died after suffering from an infection.
The NMC has alleged that the midwife failed to carry out observations on the baby or alert doctors to his low temperature, which signalled problems which could have been treated by antibiotics.
She is also accused of failing to adequately record the care she provided in clinical notes.
An inquiry last year concluded that failures at every level of the NHS had created a “lethal mix”, which caused the avoidable deaths of at least 11 babies and one mother between 2004 and 2013.
The investigation by Dr Bill Kirkup, a former deputy chief medical officer, followed a long campaign by James Titcombe, father of baby Joshua, to expose failings by the trust and by national systems of regulation, which were then overhauled.
Ms Biggs was criticised for her subsequent attitude towards the tragedy, after writing an email to a co-accused midwife with the subject line “NMC shit”.
In March of this year, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay trust ordered an independent investigation into another death, which occurred in February.
Sascha Wells, the trust’s director of midwifery, obstetrics and gynaecology, confirmed that a midwife had now been dismissed after a disciplinary hearing because a panel concluded “her conduct fell fundamentally below our acceptable standards”.
An NMC spokesman said: “The NMC is aware that a midwife employed by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust has been dismissed following an internal disciplinary process.
“We were recently made aware that the trust had launched an investigation into events surrounding the tragic death of a baby earlier this year and we have remained in close contact with the trust throughout.
“We made it clear in our discussions that we would expect the trust to make a referral to the NMC should they have concerns about this midwife’s fitness to practise. We can confirm that we have received a referral in relation to this midwife [on Wednesday] and we will take the necessary steps to investigate as a matter of urgency. As this is an ongoing situation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”
Eight midwives have faced investigation over the alleged failings at Morecambe Bay.
But so far just one, Marie Ratcliffe, has been struck off, after admitting to 68 mistakes which contributed to the deaths of two babies, in 2004 and 2008, and poor care of 12 more patients.