A midwife made a harrowing joke about ‘plucking flowers’ from a new mother who suffered traumatic complications in childbirth ‘like on Benidorm’s Sticky Vicky show’, a misconduct panel heard.
Paul Johnson faces 29 allegations of misconduct while working as a senior midwife at a women’s and children’s hospital.
Some of the allegations include that he intimidated and undermined staff and took two pictures of women having C-sections against their will, and showed them to someone with whom he was in a relationship.
Johnson is also alleged to have filmed himself performing a sexual act in the hospital bathrooms.
Mr. Johnson had been employed by the hospital since 2002 and was responsible for managing and coordinating the delivery room prior to his 18-month suspension.
Before that, Johnson was a well-known and well-respected midwife who had helped hundreds of babies, according to the Hull Daily Mail.
But the second day of a four-day Nursing and Midwifery Council misconduct hearing today (Tuesday) heard more evidence from witnesses about allegations of a “toxic feeling” in the delivery room in which some staff felt intimidated or undermined.
A Hull Women & Children’s Hospital staff member told the panel she had felt “disgusted” and “distressed” after Johnson allegedly made a joke about a new mother who had “lost a large amount of blood” after a hemorrhage. her while she gives birth.
The colleague told the panel that she was told to remove a wound pack, a pack placed within the private area to stop bleeding, from the woman and asked Mr. Johnson for guidance on how to do so safely.
“I figured it was no more difficult than just taking it off, but I wanted to double check because I had lost a lot of blood and I didn’t want to do anything wrong,” he said.
“So I went to the registrar’s office for support to check if there was anything different I needed to do before doing it.
“In the office he referred to a magic trick. [He] He compared it to ‘well, have you seen the trick of the woman pulling flowers out of her vagina in Benidorm? Well, that’s basically what you do.’”
An apparent reference to a famous Spanish spa magic show, dancer and illusionist Sticky Vicky was known for ripping off objects like flowers and a light bulb.
The colleague said he then followed up with a comment such as “Aren’t you seeing that magic trick?”
He added: “The woman didn’t know anything about that comment at all, it was said in the office and not in front of the patient.”
When asked by the panel what he thought of the comment, he responded while sounding on the verge of tears: “I thought it was disgusting. I found that really distressing.
“That was a really traumatic birth with a new mom, and it was just very sexualized and very derogatory comments.”
Another witness who testified Tuesday told the panel that she had felt intimidated while working under Johnson.
“The delivery room itself felt quite toxic,” she said.
“There was a culture of bullying.”
Other allegations against Johnson included that he would sometimes disappear without explanation during shifts, with attorney Raj Joshi stating that he was jokingly nicknamed the “Scarlet Pimpernel” as a result.
A third colleague told the panel that during an incident where a mother was losing a lot of blood, the emergency button was pressed to alert staff, but Johnson did not show up even though “nothing else happened.”
Johnson, who was not present at the hearing, faces 29 counts of misconduct, including poor management and decision-making shown “by making excuses not to transfer patients to the delivery room.”
The hearing is expected to last four days and will conclude tomorrow.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.