2 May 2017

Midwife fined $11,400 for affair with client's husband

5:03 pm on 2 May 2017

A midwife who had a five-month affair with her client's husband has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

A file photo shows a midwife with a pregnant woman.

The midwife, her client and her client's husband all have name suppression (file photo). Photo: 123RF

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal said the pair had several sexual encounters between 2013 and 2014, while the midwife was her client's lead maternity carer.

In a decision released today, it said the midwife was guilty of malpractice and negligence and her actions discredited the midwifery profession.

The ruling said she had cared for her client in a previous pregnancy and they had been friends.

It said the two women frequently socialised together with both of their partners.

After meeting her client's partner out shopping, the pair had a beer together and began kissing and fondling each other.

This sexual relationship continued and progressed into unprotected sex at the midwife's home.

The tribunal said the client suspected the affair but after her partner denied it she "felt as if she was going crazy".

It said the client was in such a high state of anxiety that when she went into labour she considered not calling her midwife because she did not want to see her.

The client was recorded saying that the affair had a devastating emotional impact on her family.

The midwife was censured, fined $11,400 and ordered to undergo mentoring and counselling.

According to the tribunal, usually a suspension of nine to 12 months would have been warranted, but it said it was not necessary in this case because the midwife had shown remorse and removed herself from the profession for five months.

She resumed work as a bureau midwife in September 2014.

All parties have permanent name suppression.