The Coroners Court of Victoria has published its decision (24 March 2016) in relation to the death of Caroline Emily Lovell, a woman who died following a home birth in 2012, under the care of two midwives. She had an earlier history of post-partum haemorrhage, which was later identified as the likely cause of death following the home birth. One of the then registered midwives was referred for consideration of action by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Recommendations made by the Coroner included reference to:

  • AHPRA investigation of the adequacy of the regulatory system & development of a framework for privately contracted midwives working in homes.
  • Nursing and Midwifery Board development of guidelines and a system for monitoring clinical competence.
  • Public education campaign.
  • Consideration of prohibition of financial receipt by unregistered midwife attending a birth.

With thanks to Associate Professor Tina Cockburn for noting this decision.

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