A paramedic who put an expectant mother and her unborn baby at risk by failing to take her to hospital has been found guilty of misconduct.

Ian Radford waited 11 minutes for a second back-up ambulance to arrive as the drama unfolded.

The paramedic had been sent with an unnamed female ambulance technician to a house in Weymouth where the 31-year-old woman was experiencing difficulties during a home birth and needed an emergency caesarean section.

The call was graded as a life-threatening ‘category-A’ incident by controllers at the South Western Ambulance Service, the Health Professions Council heard.

But on arrival at 1.50pm on May 5, 2009, Radford, who had been on duty since 7am, stayed in his ambulance until a second crew arrived at the scene.

Both mother and child survived.

Radford was found guilty of misconduct after his attitude and actions were deemed ‘unprofessional’ and blamed for the delay in getting the unborn child to Dorchester County Hospital.

The HPC conduct and competence committee ruled that as a result of misconduct Mr Radford’s fitness to practise was impaired.

But he can carry on his career, if he wishes, after the panel made him subject to a year-long condition of practice order.

Panel chairman Gordon Sutehall said Radford’s actions were ‘contrary to his training and to the expected standards of professional conduct’ and placed both mother and baby at risk.

He said: “The registrant had duties and responsibilities to the patient.

“He should have engaged actively with the other health professionals involved and he should have made assessments of himself of the clinical situation and of the patient. He did not do so.

“The panel finds his actions and omissions to have been wilful. He did not want to be on that job.

“Through his inaction he created delays that placed the patient and her unborn baby at risk. That such risk did not result in harm is not relevant to the panel’s decision that the registrant’s behaviour on that day amounted to serious professional misconduct.”

Giving evidence earlier, senior midwife Shirley Pike said there had been ‘complete inaction’ by the crew upon arrival at the address at around 1.50pm on May 5 last year.

“They didn’t even enter the house,’ she said.

“I was outside when the ambulance arrived, and a female colleague approached the house and advised me they wouldn’t be transferring my lady in because they had worked for seven and a half hours without a break.

“It really alarmed me because I have never had that situation arise before at a home birth.

‘I asked her if she was coming into the house and she did nothing.

“I said to her, ‘We have got foetal distress – what if the baby died?’, and she just shrugged her shoulders.

“From my perspective, this baby was not going to deliver vaginally and we needed assistance from medical people, whether by instrumental delivery or caesarean section.

“They didn’t acknowledge the patients – nobody came in to say ‘hello’ to her, to ask if she had enough pain relief or to apologise to her.

“They did nothing – absolutely nothing.”

Allegations that the paramedic had declined to assess the patient or offer practical help were rejected after the panel said there was no evidence to support the claims.

Radford’s lawyer Roderick Moore had previously told the panel: “There’s no evidence whatsoever that Mr Radford was ever asked to assist the patient.

“There’s no evidence from anyone that he ever refused to assist the patient.

“It was Mr Radford’s clear understanding that she wasn’t ready.”

Mr Moore said today the events of last year ‘haunted’ Radford and he was prepared to accept any ‘reasonable conditions’ in order to continue to practise as a paramedic.

He said: “Mr Radford is very much a people person, that’s why he loves being a paramedic and to have serious allegations made against him, to lose his job and to be found guilty of misconduct will haunt him forever”

Reading out the panel’s decision Mr Sutehall said: “The panel has determined that the deficiency which it has identified is capable of being remedied and that a structured process of training in the area of obstetrics will assist to address that deficiency.

“A Conditions of Practice order to last for no more than one year will be the appropriate and proportionate order to make in this case.”

Under the order Mr Radford will be required to formulate a personal development plan with a named paramedic mentor to address certain areas of obstetrics and to forward that plan to the HPC.