A TORRYBURN mum won't even consider having a second child after a nurse's criminal activity "totally ruined" her daughter's birth.

Jill Steele and partner Charles McGuire endured torment after the arrival of baby Penny in November when a bag of epidural drugs was tampered with before being given to her during labour.

In court in May, Victoria Hospital staff nurse Caroline Heap, 41, pleaded guilty to using syringes to withdraw medicine from sealed intravenous bags for her own use.

The offence came to light after an epidural given to Jill failed and the empty drug bag was taken from a bin by another midwife and used as evidence.

Jill wasn’t aware of anything untoward but the day after giving birth, she was told by senior hospital staff that the drugs could have been contaminated and may result in her developing a spinal abscess.

The uncertainty – and her continued fight for answers and an apology from NHS Fife – cast a huge shadow over her early days of parenthood. And it got worse when she found out through the TV that Heap had been charged.

“They totally ruined the first days with my baby,” she said. “I was worried I was going to develop a spinal abscess and the implications of what that would mean. Then on November 17, the news had a story that a midwife had been charged with taking epidural drugs. They could have had the decency to say it was going to be on. I was in complete distress. Seeing it on the news was horrible – it sent chills right through me.”

After the whole experience, Jill decided: “I am not going to have another child. I could not go through that again. There was always the potential there but it ruined it for me. It took me a good couple of months to try and put it to the side and focus on being a new mum.”

The Lloyds Bank team leader continued: "I am still waiting on NHS providing a final response. They failed to mention there had been surveillance in place already regarding epidural drugs going missing. I want them to give me an explanation.

"I would like an apology for them delivering a message to a new mother like that and for letting me find through STV news what had happened.”

Jill’s anger deepened after a major blunder by NHS Fife.

After requesting her medical records, half of her records arrived along with half belonging to another patient.

“I have totally lost all faith in the NHS. To receive someone else’s medical records, it is just another failure.”

NHS Fife’s Director of Nursing, Helen Wright, said they could not make any specific comment as it was the subject of ongoing legal proceedings.

“However, we would strongly reiterate that the incidents in 2016 were a serious breach of the professional standards we expect of our staff,” she said.

“Patient safety is of the utmost importance and we are constantly reviewing our systems and processes to ensure patients receive safe care of the highest quality.

"Since this incident we subjected our procedures around controlled drugs to further review, taking the opportunity to tighten up protocols.”

With regard to the medical records error, she said they had been in contact with those affected and had provided a full explanation and apology.

She added that an internal investigation had concluded and steps put in place to avoid a re-occurrence.