28 Apr 2013

Midwives concerned about time taken over case

6:11 am on 28 April 2013

The College of Midwives says it is concerned about the time being taking to review the case of a young mother and her newborn who died in Waikato Hospital.

Casey Nathan, who was 20, and her newborn boy died after a difficult birth in May last year.

The college's chief executive, Karen Guilliland, has criticised continuing media coverage of the case, even though a coroner has yet to rule on it.

She says some coverage is fuelling a general increase in abuse and even death threats against health professionals without any evidence warranting such a witchhunt.

She says no charges have been laid and until the process is complete any information about it is hearsay and not based on facts or evidence.

The name of the midwife involved has been suppressed while the case is reviewed, she says, but it was published by a newspaper on Saturday morning.

Ms Guilliland says the coverage is making women and their families anxious and is undermining midwives. When an information gap opens up, she says, "people speculate and then they get interviewed and they make television programmes - and then it's very difficult to fix the actual facts.

"That's what concerns us - that we undermine the whole maternity system like this."

Ms Guilliland says inquiries have become too time-consuming and people want answers sooner.