Baby `died after midwife's errors'

A PIONEER of natural birth techniques lost control of a baby's breech delivery, which left a baby girl dead and the mother collapsed and bleeding on the floor, a disciplinary hearing was told yesterday.

Caroline Flint, 57, a formerpresident of the Royal College of Midwives, appeared "not to be functioning", the inquiry heard. Ms Flint has been charged with professional misconduct.

Katrina Wingfield, solicitor for the Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, said the mother, referred to as Mrs A, was herself a newly qualified midwife, in Guy's hospital, London.

When she became pregnant she consulted Ms Flint because she wanted a home delivery. But when it was discovered that the baby was in a breech position, Mrs A was transferred to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

After Mrs A's waters broke, Ms Flint assured her the baby was well and showed her photographs purporting to show that the vaginal delivery of breech babies was safe and that she had done several herself. Shesaid delivery was best carried out in the standing position.

But the delivery was extremely difficult and a doctor was called who eventually delivered the baby himself. The baby died after half an hour.

The hearing continues.