Midwife suspended after colleagues find out she could hardly speak English


A midwife has been suspended after colleagues discovered she had not delivered a baby due to her poor English skills.

Barbara Fall was born in Poland but worked as a midwife at the Burnley General Teaching Hospital in the UK.

The Express reports colleagues were horrified when they realised Ms Fall could not understand them. She was demoted and she later resigned and took her bosses to a tribunal.

It was alleged she lacked knowledge of English skills to provide proper care and she did not have the confidence to work unsupervised.

In findings made by the Nursing & Midwifery Council in the UK, it said Ms Fall only scored a 5.5 in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam when she was meant to score at least a 7.0.

She scored a 4.0 in the listening component, a 5.0 in reading and writing and a 7.0 in speaking.

Barbara Fall worked as a midwife at the Burnley General Teaching Hospital. Source: Google Maps

The Nursing & Midwifery Council said: “If the nurse or midwife is unable to demonstrate that they have achieved a minimum score of 7.0 in each of the four components of the IELTS assessment (reading, writing, listening and speaking), then we are likely to recommend that there is a case to answer in relation to the allegation.”

“We consider that a a score of 7.0 in each component reflects the minimum knowledge of English necessary to practise safely.”

The Nursing & Midwifery Council suspended the nurse for 12 months as she did “not have the necessary knowledge of English to practise safely and effectively”.

“She was liable in the future to put patients at unwarranted risk of harm, bring the profession into disrepute and breach a fundamental tenet of the profession,” the council said in its findings.

The council said Ms Fall had accepted that her knowledge of English did not meet the requirements.

The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS did not respond to Yahoo7 News, but told the Express: “Patient safety is, and always will be, our priority.”