Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Midwife Olabisi Ajala at Northwick Park Hospital is struck off for misconduct

The Nursing and Midwifery Council booted Olabisi Ajala out of her profession after they ruled her conduct had resulted in an impairment in her fitness to practise. The panel heard she demanded she take a break when a patient required an emergency and refused to attend to an expectant mum in the delivery suite in December 2011. She finally agreed after a senior colleague stepped and when the father asked her to weigh the baby and she replied: ‘Is that part of my job?’ and shouted at him: ‘I do not like the way you are speaking to me in front of my colleagues.’

The father said she acted so aggressively he felt unable to leave his baby in Ajala’s care, the panel heard. Her colleague described her as coming across as ‘abrupt’ and ‘challenging,’ after which he led her away. Later that afternoon Ajala pressed an emergency buzzer after the baby of an expectant mother’s heart rate suddenly decreased but when a doctor said the required an emergency C-section she demanded she take a break.

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The secret midwife: Psychotic mothers, exhausted doctors and nurses asleep on the job: A whistleblower reveals the desperate truth behind those rose-tinted TV shows

With Call The Midwife and One Born Every Minute enjoying huge success, bringing babies into the world has rarely had more attention. 

Yet the reality could hardly be more different from the cosy TV image. In fact, maternity care is facing crisis. 

Here, one midwife describes for the first time the conditions she and her colleagues endure at a London hospital: the emergencies, the danger, the exhaustion – and the joy. Names, locations and timings have been changed to protect identities. But the episodes are all too real.

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