Nurse Struck Off From Practice For "Posing A Significant Risk To Patients"

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The Law Of... ensuring safe care for patients

A nurse has been struck off from the Nurse and Midwifery Council's register, after a number of oversights could have caused undue harm to patients.

Nurse struck off for malpractice

Responding to the news, Daxa Patel – Partner in Medical Negligence – explains why the move may have been made in the interest of patient safety.

Previous Suspension

The nurse in question, who left a syringe full of drugs on a patient's bed and gave another patient the wrong medicine, worked for the Mid Essex Hospital Trust as a staff nurse in 2011 and 2012.

She was suspended from practise in 2012 after accepting 8 charges of neglect, which included:

  • Leaving a syringe full of morphine on a patient's bed, before signing to state that drug had been administered
  • Giving antibiotics to a man, which were intended for a female patient
  • Trying to give insulin to a patient who had already received a course of the hormone
  • Leaving a patient on a bed pan in a wet bed for 20 minutes

Removed From The Register

The nurse's regulatory body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, has now removed the nurse from their register on the grounds that the nurse would pose "a significant risk to patients".

The council heard the nurse wanted to come off the register "voluntarily" due to her current state of health, as it is deemed unlikely that the issue will be resolved with the Mid Essex Hospital Trust.

This nurse worked first as a healthcare assistant and then as a staff nurse at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford between 2011 and 2012.

Responding to the incident, the hospital previously stated that the nurse stopped working for the trust in February 2012 and was "continually supervised" once concerns about her competence had been raised.

Responding to the risks posed by the errant nurse, Daxa comments:

"Patients should be able to trust those in charge of their care; especially the elderly and vulnerable who rely on a reasonable standard of care from healthcare professionals."

"Though this might be a rare incident of a nurse not taking due care in her position, it does raise serious concerns and the question one needs to ask is whether adequate supervision and support would have prevented the incidents that came to light. The charges against this nurse involve events that should never have occurred."

"While most patients who are treated by healthcare professionals receive decent care, human error can sometimes result in serious medical negligence and the NHS ought to implement procedures to ensure patient care is not compromised, as it appears to have been in this instance."

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