A nurse has been struck off for making 285 phone calls to South Africa when she should have been caring for elderly residents with dementia.

Nomqondisa Adelaide Jaceni was found to have neglected her duties at Westacre Nursing Home in Winchester putting residents “at risk” by making hundreds of personal calls overseas when she should have been on duty, racking up a £885 mobile phone bill in two months. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was told that an investigation was launched after bosses received bills for £385 and £500 for one of the phones the nurses used while on duty.

Mrs Jaceni was one of two nurses who had access to the phone and when confronted quickly admitted making all but nine of the calls. She was also found to have failed to complete the controlled drug register on three occasions. She was suspended and later dismissed for gross misconduct.

At the NMC hearing the panel heard that Mrs Jaceni conceded what she had done was “very stupid”. It noted she did not ask permission to make the calls or make any attempt to pay for them and that given the timings she would have been making many of them while on duty.

Finding that both charges had been proved the panel decided to issue a striking off order that would see her name taken off the nursing register.

Their report said: “The panel found that the frequent personal calls made by Mrs Jaceni during work hours meant that she was neglecting patient care and that residents at the care home were exposed to risk as a result of her neglecting her duties.

“Mrs Jaceni’s actions fell seriously short of the standards expected of a registered nurse and were sufficiently serious that they can be described as misconduct.”

There was also no evidence of Mrs Jaceni showing any insight or remediation into her actions, leaving the panel to believe that there “remains a risk” of “a repetition of her dishonesty”.

Westacre Nursing Home did not want to comment on the case.