2 Feb 2015

Critical midwife report 'ignored intimidation'

8:28 am on 2 February 2015

A coroner's report into the deaths of a young Ngaruawahia mother and newborn baby overlooked gang-related intimidation involved in the case, the College of Midwives says.

Casey Nathan, who was 20, and her newborn son Kymani died in May 2012 after she was transferred from Huntly to Waikato Hospital because of severe complications with the birth.

Coroner Gary Evans criticised midwifery training, saying junior midwives should not work unsupervised for 12 months.

The College of Midwives says Mr Evans took no notice of the intimidation and threatening behaviour the midwife was faced with.

It says it was clear Mr Evans expected the delivery of care to be unaffected by violence, intimidation and abuse. The college says the families involved were known to have gang connections.

But an advocate for the family said the father did not develop gang connections until after the deaths of his partner and son.

Jenn Hooper, spokesperson for Action to Improve Maternity, has been working with Ms Nathan's partner and family, and said there was only a brief 'verbal rebuffing' by the partner after Casey Nathan collapsed.

"The coroner found that successive errors of clinical judgement and failure to follow proper midwifery practice contributed to this tragic outcome."

The college says several midwifes in the Huntly area have faced threats over this case.