'****ing hell, why can't women give birth naturally?' - caesarean doctor's outburst at mother in labour

A doctor swore at a woman who had been in labour for three days after he was told she would need a caesarean to save the life of her child.

Assistant anaesthetist Nigel Baglin interrupted a discussion between Samantha Shepherd and her doctor by shouting at her: '******* hell, why can't women in this hospital give birth naturally?'

He was so enraged, the veins in his neck stood out during a tirade that left Mrs Shepherd in tears, a hearing was told on Wednesday.


Samantha Shepherd, pictured with son Luke in April last year, said she was devastated after being sworn at during a difficult labour

But the independent panel sitting at the Health Professions Council rejected claims that Baglin's fitness to practise was impaired and cleared him of misconduct.

During the hearing, Baglin claimed outburst was an 'off-the-cuff comment' on the number of caesareans being carried out at Newham University Hospital, East London.

He said: 'I was aghast at the amount of caesarean sections that were going ahead.

'It was like every patient on the ward wanted one and had consented to them,' said Baglin, who now works in Derby.

'As a personal opinion, I did not think this was natural. It was a sarcastic comment aimed at the doctor and it was a mistake on my part. It won't happen again.'

Baglin, an agency practitioner who was providing surgery support, had stormed into the room and crashed his hospital trolley into a door. He admitted to the hearing he had acted in an inappropriate manner but blamed his anger on the fact he was 'being rushed around'.

Mrs Shepherd said she had been determined to give birth naturally to her third child in February last year, so the torrent of abuse from Baglin left her feeling a 'complete failure'.

She told the panel, sitting in Kennington, South London: 'I was really nervous about having the baby. I had two previous births naturally. Every woman has a plan and this labour was not going along as hoped.


Surgery assistant Nigel Baglin is no longer working at Newham University Hospital following his outburst at Mrs Shepherd

'The doctor was explaining that I needed to have a second epidural when he (Baglin) entered the room and banged the door with his trolley.'

A woman who saw Baglin's outburst said his comments were directed straight at Mrs Shepherd, adding: 'He was so angry you could see the veins in his neck.

'He wanted to be an exhibitionist and he wanted it to be heard.'

Mrs Shepherd said: 'It was loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

'He stormed out and everyone was in shock. I felt worthless and told my husband I was a complete failure.'

Within two hours of the incident, Mrs Shepherd's contractions had increased dramatically and she was finally able to give birth naturally to her son, Luke.

The couple complained to the Patient Advisory Liaison Services and the hospital's head of midwifery.

Baglin, who resigned from his post, said he had never received a complaint before in his 14-year career.

Mrs Shepherd said: 'He should be more considerate to women in that position.'

Up to a third of babies are delivered by caesarean section in Britain  -  twice the 15 per cent recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Mothers who have them are more likely to develop complications and spend twice as long in hospital as those having a natural delivery.