Belfast Telegraph

Nurse panel probes Northern Ireland midwife over 'racist slur'

BY JOANNE SWEENEY

A midwife from Northern Ireland allegedly told a black mother that she should be in the Guinness Book of Records for giving birth to "such a white baby".

The claims against Bernadette McDaid were heard yesterday at a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) disciplinary hearing into complaints against the midwife, who was working in London.

A nurse with more than 20 years experience, Ms McDaid was struck off in 2012 after whistleblowing on a case in which foster parents were not told that their baby was HIV positive.

However, after a successful appeal to the High Court against the decision, the Co Tyrone midwife is now facing a series of new complaints. The 52-year-old is charged with breaching patient confidentiality as well as a string of other allegations, including aggressive behaviour towards colleagues and making inappropriate comments to a patient.

The tribunal in London was also told that Ms McDaid had made the comments to the black mother after the woman complained about the care she received from the Strabane woman.

The mother complained to Althea Daley, team leader at the Deanery Road Midwifery Group Practice in London, and allegedly said that she did not want Ms McDaid back in her home as she had made a derogatory remark about her child.

Ms Daley said when Ms McDaid asked her about the complaint, she said: "She (the patient) called the office and complained about one of the midwives – that midwife was you.

"She gave me examples of three things, and you said, 'oh my God, the baby is very white'. Secondly you said, 'have you had an egg donation?' and, 'have you been mistaken for the nanny?'" The woman had a white partner.

Ms Daley testified that when she had heard that a complaint had been made against her colleague, Ms McDaid replied: "I know what this is about, it is that woman with the white baby. I told her she should be in the Guinness Book of Records for having such a white baby."

Ms Daley claimed the woman had told her that Ms McDaid had told her she should be in Hello! magazine for the same reason.

Ms McDaid denied saying this and said that the reference to Hello! magazine was because the mother was "stunningly beautiful".

"Why would she be in the Guinness Book of Records? Why would I say such a thing? That is ridiculous," said Ms McDaid.

Ms McDaid claims that the allegations against her are baseless and that papers which could aid her case have been stolen.

The hearing continues.

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