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Midwife suspended in the interests of public safety.

A midwife alleged to have been involved in a recent baby death at a maternity unit  in Cumbria has been suspended in the interests of public safety.

Barrow midwife Lindsey Biggs has been banned from practicing anywhere in the country for 18 months while the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) investigates serious allegations against her.

The allegations relate to the death of a baby at Furness General Hospital overnight between March 2 and 3 this year.

Ms Biggs was sacked by the health trust that runs the Dalton Lane unit in June following an external assessment by experts from Royal Preston Hospital and an internal disciplinary hearing which found her conduct had fallen 'fundamentally below' acceptable standards.

A panel of experts on the NMC Investigation Committee discussed the case on July 6 and decided that a temporary suspension order should be placed upon Ms Biggs to ensure the safety of the public.

Ms Biggs is alleged to have failed to notice that  a slowing in the baby's heart rate during the labour was not improving; to have failed to make adequate notes and to have failed to refer the case to a doctor.

The NMC will investigate the incident before deciding whether to call Ms Biggs to a disciplinary hearing.

Ms Biggs already faces being struck off for her involvement in a separate case - that of Dalton baby Joshua Titcombe, who died aged nine days old in 2008 - after the NMC found her actions had significantly reduced his chances of survival.

An NMC fitness to practice hearing at its London headquarters found Ms Biggs and Furness General Hospital colleague, Holly Parkinson, had failed to carry out observations every three hours or to have referred the infant to a doctor when he exhibited a low temperature.

The panel also concluded Ms Biggs had signed to say she had conducted observations that she had not carried out herself.