To request a new midwife or complain over this social services issue?

(66 Posts)
ChickenDrumsticks Mon 22-Aug-16 19:21:16

I'm a regular poster but this is the username I use when posting about this particular issue/event

Last year my DH was arrested for possessing indecent images of children. Police came into our home at 7am, searched it and took all our electronics.

DH runs his own business building sites online and, when he has a client, he does the full service including setting up email accounts for them. They told him that indecent images had been exchanged via an email he had set up. The user somehow 'hid' (sorry don't know official terminology) the IP address, and the only trace they had of anyone accessing the account was DH, hence the arrest. He handed over all relevant information about the client in question, but the police obviously still had to carry out a proper investigation, which they warned us would take months maybe years. He wasn't charged

In the meantime children's services intervened with our (at the time) 2yo DD. DH couldn't be alone with DD unsupervised until a conclusion was reached. It was incredibly tough for all of us. She was placed on a Child in Need plan and we had regular visits and a conference. HV was also involved but mainly from a support POV.

6 months after the arrest our goods were returned. They had found nothing at all and confirmed DH's account of events was correct. The case was dropped against him, and children's services closed the case on our daughter as they had no concerns. They commented on our strength and co-operation through the process, and when asked said there'd be concerns whatsoever should we have more children and there'd be no need for them to intervene. Because of sickness of a SW they took 2 months to close DD's case, which they apologised for, and made no visits in this time.

I can't tell you the relief we felt. I trusted DH's account, but also protected DD 'just in case' in ensuring he was not alone with her through the process. Had they found images I'd have left straight away.

We are expecting again, I am 5 months pregnant.

I have not exactly warmed to my MW, but TBH I didn't think it mattered too much as I was only ever seeing her at appointments.

In my green notes it asks if we have ever had SS intervention, to which I ticked 'yes' and put the social worker's name. That's all it asked for, no details. However the MW never asked about it, and I assumed she spoke to the SW beforehand to check details.

At the last appointment she said that as part of safeguarding they do checks with HV and GP, and "it's came up that there are some concerns to do with your husband and some images".

I explained the story, about how he was innocent, no images were found and children's services closed the case for our DD.

She said she'd just have to speak to children's services to clarify this, to which I said that's fine.

I got a call last week from the MW to say she's had our story clarified but that, because of our 'history', ie involvement with SS, the fact they 'didn't immediately close our case', and 'I didn't tell her about it', she was making another referral for our DD and unborn baby. I explained they closed the case slowly due to sickness, and that they'd confirm this, and there were no concerns as we knew unequivocally that no crime was committed. I also said I filled my green notes about SS involvement. She just kept saying our history meant she had to refer, and that I should have actually mentioned it to her, not just in the notes. She said they'd do one of 3 options-
1. Nothing
2. Have a discussion or home visit with us
3. Re-open a case with our DD and unborn baby

I've been sick with worry since the weekend. I haven't told DH, as he firmly believed that that awful phase in our lives was over. His mental health suffered greatly during the investigation, and I think more intervention would take him back to a horrible place.

I haven't eaten or slept in days, I keep crying and I do feel it's unfair - we know in hindsight there was never a danger to DD, so I don't know what has now changed.

The SW called me today and I thought I was going to faint with worry. She asked if there'd been any new developments or concerns since the case was closed, and had I any concerns or worries re DH? I said no, that I told the MW the story and wasn't sure why she had referred us, and no worries at all, we were fine. She went to chat to her manager and called back a few minutes later to confirm no visits would be made and they didn't need to re-open the case, and that she'll feed this back to the MW. She is really lovely and was worried about me not sleeping, and said it was really not necessary that we were referred and she was sorry I had to live through that worry for a week. She assumed I had 'told new concerns' to the MW as she doesn't know why else there'd be a referral.

I can't explain the relief I felt, I 100% understand why they safeguard, and would understand a referral of he had actually committed an offence or if they'd had concerns. However I felt that the MW referral was for no good reason and that she has been sloppy mainly re me ' not informing' her of previous involvement and also assuming the wrong thing about the time it took to close the case.

WIBU to request a new MW? And WIBU to put in a complaint - or is this very standard procedure to re-refer even with closed case, when there's been no new developments? I just feel she's caused unnecessary distress, the SW told her she had zero concerns yet still chose to refer.

Patheticfallacy Mon 22-Aug-16 19:25:52

You poor thing. Absolutely request a new midwife.

keepwarm Mon 22-Aug-16 19:27:28

Midwives have in my experience a slight tendency to panic when they hear of SS involvement. I would say it sounds perfectly reasonable that the SW has put your mind at rest but I'm unsure why she didn't speak to the SW before making the second referral, and I think it's reasonable that you don't feel comfortable with her after that. You're not screaming for her head on a plate, after all, just someone you feel easier with

Yorkieheaven Mon 22-Aug-16 19:27:39

Oh you poor poor love and your dh too. Stuff of nightmares.

Yes go see your GP and get them to request a change of midwife as the trust is gone isn't it. Or go through the midwife service and request a change. Not sure about complaining but maybe a letter to the head of midwifery in your area.

However don't stress yourself I would go through your GP and have an unmumsnetty hug flowers

Griphook Mon 22-Aug-16 19:27:59

I think you'd be better of sticking with her tbh, at least she now knows she situation and won't need it explained again. I'd be worried that you would go through the same process again if you changed mw.

I also thing that she was just covering herself. People are used as scapegoats so often, they are scared to make mistakes

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 22-Aug-16 19:28:58

She caused you distress which is awful but I guess she's erring on the side of caution and getting things double checked just in case. There's an awful lot of responsibility put on to people with a duty of care as so many have missed signs in the past.

I hope you are sleeping well now.

brummiesue Mon 22-Aug-16 19:29:18

Im sorry you have been feeling so bad but the midwife was just doing her job. If you now feel uncomfortable with her request a new one x

ChickenDrumsticks Mon 22-Aug-16 19:29:41

You're not screaming for her head on a plate, after all, just someone you feel easier with

Exactly, I can live without making a complaint unless it's entirely necessary, but I'm actually dreading the next appointment in a few weeks as I just can't sit opposite her and feel comfortable. My last MW was a total Angel but I don't live in that area anymore so can't have her back sad

TorchesTorches Mon 22-Aug-16 19:30:10

I dont have any experience, but i would say that for your own peace of mind request a different midwife. This is supposed to be a time where you feel that you can place your trust in a person. Personally i wouldn't place a complaint as it would (for me) just emphasise what happened and prolong it. I would want to cut my losses and move on. Would that work for you? Put yourself and your needs first.

CantChoose Mon 22-Aug-16 19:32:56

I think she wasn't unreasonable to refer you - unfortunately people sometimes don't tell the truth about these things so they're obligated to follow their concerns really.
I also don't think you're unreasonable for wanting to change either though, you won't get the most out of your appointments if you don't have a good relationship with your mw. I would request that she makes full documentation in your notes though so you don't have to explain the situation again.

Idliketobeabutterfly Mon 22-Aug-16 19:33:28

Change midwife. I had issues with mine sticking her nose in with things that didn't concern her (MH issues that were being dealt with by people with more experience) and wish I'd changed. She was a PITA

ToadsforJustice Mon 22-Aug-16 19:34:20

Hi OP. I'm sorry that you have had all this unnecessary stress. I would ask (demand) a new MW and I would complain about the way she handled the situation. The MW was arse covering and seemed to jump straight in with the accusations, instead of actually doing her job properly, doing her research, asking the right people the right questions.

Yes, safeguarding is everyone's responsibility but if you were trying to hide anything, you wouldn't have ticked yes to SS interventions would you !!

I hope you feel better soon thanks

Yorkieheaven Mon 22-Aug-16 19:38:04

No as a district nurse I can say she was lazy and sloppy!

She wasn't doing her job. Her job should have been to check the facts not just fire off a referral. A midwife primary role is to be an advocate for a pregnant woman. She caused you untold stress when she need not have. She's a bad professional actually.

GoldenWorld Mon 22-Aug-16 19:38:10

I'm a midwife and to be completely honest, I would have referred with that history as well. Even if I knew nothing would come from it, unfortunately midwives have to cover their arse - if she hadn't have referred and something was found later to be missed, she'd be in serious trouble and potentially lose her job. I think she did the right thing but she could have gone about it in a nicer way and been more reassuring to you.

I'm sorry it's caused you stress. I wouldn't make a complaint but if you don't like her, then change by all means. Just to warn you though, a new midwife might want to have a brief chat with social services to confirm no more involvement. Again backside covering I'm afraid.

TotallySpies17 Mon 22-Aug-16 19:38:26

I would definitely request a new mw and think you're well within your rights to do so flowers

Newes Mon 22-Aug-16 19:39:45

I would request a new MW and put it in writing as to why. I probably wouldn't pursue a formal complaint against her but I would want whoever takes her place to be fully aware of the situation and the fact that SS have absolutely no concerns and consider the case closed.

I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes smoothly and that you can put this behind you flowers

eyebrowsonfleek Mon 22-Aug-16 19:40:06

I think that we are an increasingly litigious society and the MW is making sure that she doesn't end up as one of the people who could have helped a child who could have been protected.

It's unfortunate that your family was under attack again and glad it was sorted. flowers

Missgraeme Mon 22-Aug-16 19:40:23

Please change your mw. Don't have the rest of your pregnancy spoilt and stressful. I have had ss involvement in the past after an abuse incident - chocolate fireguard springs to mind. They aren't always right and u have every right to make a complaint.

zerrydeeer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:45:17

Change your midwife.

This could have been avoided. You have been sick with worry, not sleeping. And for what? To put it down to a mistake?

It is simply not acceptable. Without 'outing' myself, I took on a case involving a very sloppy Health Visitor, and won. They have a duty of care, yes. But being overly cautious, which resulted in your aforementioned stress; even though there was no need for concern, is unacceptable.

penguinpurple Mon 22-Aug-16 19:56:09

I would ask for a new midwife as you can't feel comfortable with her now especially if you never really warmed to her anyway. It all sounds horrible, your poor husband (and you and dd).
I think her reaction was over the top but as someone said it is an increasingly litigious society and individual professionals risk getting named, shamed, blamed and risk losing their jobs or worse when things go wrong so it wasn't as over the top as it sounds. She may have had a recent near miss or seen someone else get burned.

AntiHop Mon 22-Aug-16 19:56:11

Op I remember your previous thread. What a terrible time for you and your family. I'm so glad your husband has been cleared. I often thought about your situation after I read your thread.

I'd want to complain about your midwife. Her actions made no sense. Why is she claiming you didn't tell you when you did?

Congratulations on your pregnancy. flowers

harderandharder2breathe Mon 22-Aug-16 19:58:46

I would have expected her to query it with you and SS but once SS said the case was closed, no charges, DH totally innocent (not just lack of evidence) she shouldn't have referred unless you or she had any new concerns

Yanbu to request a new midwife at all

flowers you sound like you've been through hell, congratulations on the pregnancy, I'm glad SS have confirmed no new case, I hope you can move on with your lives in peace

herecomesthsun Mon 22-Aug-16 20:00:31

There are some draconian Safeguarding procedures in some areas which mean that HCPs have no choice but to contact social services in many instances - increasingly there is less left to an individual's discretion. It may well be that she had no choice. You could ask further about that if you like- although, if everything has now settled down, the easiest course may be to leave things in place. The new person might need to address these issues again, as has been suggested.

If you however don't feel comfortable with this individual apart from this, you can of course ask to change.

expatinscotland Mon 22-Aug-16 20:03:38

I would request a new one, definitely.

IAmNotAMindReader Mon 22-Aug-16 20:07:44

Change your mw, the trust is gone and I wouldn't appreciate being told it was my own fault I was being referred because I didn't communicate the situation clearly enough for their liking.

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