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Ambulance paramedic refused to assist 'at risk' pregnant woman

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An ambulance paramedic endangered the life of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby by refusing to take her to hospital, a Health Professions Council tribunal has heard.

Midwife Shirley Pike of Weymouth, Dorest, called 999 after the mother she was working with experienced problems during a home birth last year.

Ian Radford responded to the call but refused to take the woman to hospital because he had been working seven hours without a break.

Although a second ambulance arrived 11 minutes after Radford and took the woman to hospital -- where she had a healthy baby in May 2009 -- he was sacked following an internal investigation into the incident.

He now faces four professional disciplinary charges, including misconduct and unfitness to practice. If the charges are proven, he faces being struck off the paramedic register.

Pike told the hearing that after Radford arrived on the scene there was "complete inaction". He would not even enter the house and refused to transfer the patient to hospital.

"They didn't acknowledge the patient," she said. "Nobody came in to say 'hello' to her, to ask if she had enough pain relief, or to apologise to her," she added.

"They did nothing, absolutely nothing."

Radford's barrister Roderick Moore said in his client's defence that: "There was no evidence that [he] was ever asked to assess the patient.

"No evidence from anyone he ever refused to assess the patient.

"The instruction was for crew two to convey, not crew one."

A ruling on the charges is expected in November.

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