Having never experienced racism, I might be accused of being a little insensitive here when I say, I really don’t get what the big deal is. I probably would have made the same comments to a white woman with a very dark skinned child. But then again, I guess sometimes its not just about what was said but how it was said.
- Bernadette McDaid, 52, is alleged to have made the comments after a complaint was made against her by the patient
- McDaid was struck off in 2012 after blowing the whistle on a case in which foster parents were not told their baby was HIV-positive
- She successfully appealed the action but now faces further accusations
By Alex Ward
A midwife told a black mother she should be in the Guinness Book of Records because she had given birth to ‘such a white baby,’ a tribunal heard today.
Bernadette McDaid is alleged to have made the comments after a complaint was made against her by the patient.
The 52-year-old appeared in front of a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) disciplinary hearing today accused of a number of offences, including blowing the whistle on a case in which foster parents were not told that their baby was HIV-positive.
McDaid was struck off in 2012 for going public with the story, but after a successful appeal at the High Court she now faces fresh proceedings against her.
She 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.
Althea Daley, team leader at Deanery Road Midwifery Group Practice, told the hearing in Aldwych, London that a new mother, known only as Patient A, had complained about McDaid and asked to be removed from her care.
When asked by McDaid about the complaint, Ms Althea replied: ‘She [the patient] called the office and complained about one of the midwives – that midwife was you.
‘She said she didn’t want you to come back to her home, to provide her with any further care. She didn’t want you back in her house and the reason being, you made a derogatory remark about her child, her family.
‘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?”.’
McDaid denied this, saying she had asked to be taken off the case in January 2009 because she was offended by the patient’s husband who kept going on about ‘his Aryan genes being superior’ to hers.
She said she had complained about the patient to Ms Daley on February 14, but the witness said this was not the case.
Stands accused: The Nursing and Midwifery Council (pictured) heard accusations that McDaid breached patient confidentiality, behaved aggressively towards colleagues and made ‘inappropriate’ comments to a patient
Ms Daley statement’s to the hearing read: ‘I saw Mrs McDaid practising and told her that another nurse had contacted me about a complaint.
‘She said, “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 said McDaid had also said the woman, whose partner was white, should have appeared in Hello magazine for the same reason.
The midwife rebutted the claims, saying: ‘I said that the woman was stunningly beautiful, why didn’t she go to Hello magazine. Why would she be in the Guinness Book of Records? Why would I say such a thing – that is ridiculous.’
‘Oh my God, the baby is very white’: The hearing heard allegations that McDaid made inappropriate comments which she said were ‘ridiculous’
However, Ms Daley told the hearing the midwife ‘emphasised’ the patient’s skin colour, recorded in the ledger books as ‘being a black woman with a clearly white baby’.
A NMC conduct and competence committee must decide whether the nurse’s actions amounted to misconduct, and if so, she could face being struck off the nursing register.
McDaid claims that many of the allegations against her are baseless and that critical documents which could have aided her defence had been stolen from her.
In September McDaid blew the whistle over concerns for the safety of the baby as well as the foster parents and their three young children, who had no idea they were exposed to possible risk of infection.
She had complained to her superiors and sent letters to the head of midwifery at her hospital trust and the Department of Health, claiming it was unacceptable that the human rights of the mother, who had HIV and wanted to hide her status, were considered more important than protecting foster families.
But after four months of inaction she finally decided to warn the public by speaking to the Daily Mail, in the hope that something might finally be done.
Afterwards, Mrs McDaid, a midwife with 20 years’ experience who is originally from Strabane, Northern Ireland, claims she was verbally and physically assaulted at work, subjected to racist abuse and became so stressed she ended up having a stroke – before she was suspended, hauled through the courts and struck off as a midwife last year.
The hearing continues.
Culled from .dailymail.co.uk