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Suspended B.C. midwife communicated with patients by phone, text

A Chilliwack midwife used ultrasounds for newborn baby procedures outside the scope of her practice, college finds.
Midwives in British Columbia are regulated by the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives.

A Chilliwack midwife has been suspended for two months and had limitations put on her practice for two years for failing to provide proper care to patients and also for poor documentation practices.

A B.C College of Nurses and Midwives inquiry committee panel said Natasha Oglesby worked outside the scope of her practice by performing a lip procedure on a newborn and performing ultrasounds during the course of midwifery appointments for a purpose other than to determine the fetal heart rate.

The Sept. 24 decision said Oglesby also inappropriately provided care by phone and text while out of province and unavailable to provide in-person care, failed to document appropriately, and failed to communicate and arrange appropriate coverage for her clients when she was out of the province.

The panel said the practice issues occurred between February 2021 and May 2023.

The two-year practice limitations include not working as a solo midwife and that she work with another experienced midwife.

She is also prohibited from:

  • communicating with patients regarding clinical matters using text or instant messaging;
  • communicating with patients regarding clinical matters when she is not personally available to provide in-person primary midwifery care; and,
  • supervising and overseeing midwifery and/or nursing students for 24 months.

Oglesby must also complete remedial education in documentation, communication, and ethics and professionalism. 

The college is one of 18 regulatory bodies empowered under the Health Professions Act to regulate health professions in B.C. It regulates the practice of four distinct professions: nursing, practical nursing, psychiatric nursing and midwifery. 

Similar legislation in other self-regulated areas such as the legal and notary public professions also allows citizens to know about discipline issues in the public interest.

“The inquiry committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public,” the decision said.