A 'gormless' midwife formerly employed by the Royal Surrey County Hospital has been struck off the nursing register and told she is unfit to continue working unrestricted.
Margarita Avramova had worked at the Guildford hospital for a year before she was sacked in June, 2010. A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing found her guilty of misconduct after concluding that she showed no awareness of her failings as a midwife.
The council had been told that Avramova nearly injected a newborn baby with an air bubble in November 2009 at a time when she was already working under supervision.
On another occasion, Penny Lown, a senior midwife, had to cover for Avramova because she did not know what stage a mother's delivery was at, despite being in charge of the birth.
"It was clear the registrant didn't have a clue what to do, and I can only describe her expression as gormless," Ms Lown told the hearing, adding that Avramova spoke 'like a small child' and could barely write coherent sentences on her medical notes.
Another midwife, Lesley Wood, likened Avramova's treatment of patients and their relatives to 'going back to England in the 1950s'. Lesley Wood told the panel that she did not want to work with Avramova again, or have patients 'put in that position' by her.
The panel's chair, Dr Pamela Ormerod, told the hearing Avramova had shown 'multiple incidents of deficient clinical care, clinical knowledge, inadequate patient care, and a failure to obtain patient confidence' along with 'inadequate and unsatisfactory record keeping, communication difficulties, and failing to follow instructions of those supervising you'.
Ms Avramova, a Bulgarian, left the inquiry before hearing its outcome. She said she had been branded a 'baby killer' and that it would be 'too difficult to be present' to hear her fate.
Jacqui Tingle, head of midwifery at the Royal Surrey spoke to reporters after the hearing and said that their decision to refer Ms Avramova to the NMC in the first instance to ensure no mothers or babies were ever put at any risk.
"Our actions to proactively ensure only the best possible care for our patients demonstrates the systems in place at the Royal Surrey are effective in maintaining the highest quality of clinical care," she said.
"The public can be reassured that patient safety and quality of care are our highest priority and we will continue to take appropriate action if issues should arise that could compromise patient safety."
Ms Avramova can appeal against the panel's judgment in five years.