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Nurse gave self-harm patient a razor blade
A HAMPSHIRE nurse handed a distressed psychiatric patient a razor after she said she wanted to selfharm, a hearing was told.
Katherine Quinn was working on the Trinity Ward in Antelope House, Southampton, when she handed the woman a blade, the Nursing and Midwifery council heard.
The woman, referred to as patient A, had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and had a history of self-harm.
Quinn admitted to the panel that she gave the patient a blade, which the patient then used to selfharm with.
Krystle Fonyonga, for the NMC, said: “On 22 May, 2011, a patient on the ward, patient A, approached the registrant and stated that she wanted to self-harm.
“After a discussion with patient A, the registrant provided her with a razor with which to self-harm.
“The registrant reported this incident during the handover to the morning staff at the end of her shift.”
Jennifer Searles, who was Quinn’s line manager at the time, said: “She told me that she read the care plan twice and could not see what to do if she (the patient) became distressed.
“She was aware of policies within other trusts which allowed staff to give razors to patients in order for them to selfharm.
“She told me that she was trying to turn a negative situation into a positive one. She told me that she was trying to do her best for the patient at the time.”
Miss Searles told the panel that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust did not allow patients to be handed harmful instruments.
“Katherine should at no point have given patient A a razor blade. It is not acceptable on the ward to provide materials for a patient to selfharm,” she said.
“It is emphasised in all staff training on the ward that you do not give aid to a patient to self-harm.”
Later in the hearing, Quinn explained that she was the only qualified nurse working on the ward at the time.
She told the panel that she suffers from dyslexia, which impeded her ability to interpret the patient's care plan properly and make the right decision.
“She said she planned on making a very small cut to her wrist,” said Quinn.
“It was no surprise to me that there was a dressing already there.
“I was also aware she was an informal patient and as an informal patient she was able to make some decisions that were potentially not in her best interests.”
She said that looking back she should have considered the consequences more seriously.
“For some reason that seems really silly, looking back on it I felt a sense of urgency.
“On not being able to find staff I was feeling like I had to do something – like I can’t just leave this patient waiting.
“The best reaction I could have given, should I be able to reverse the clock, would be to ask for some time.”
She admits providing inappropriate care to patient A, failing to followthe care plan, providing a razor blade to the patient, failing to check the self-harm wound and failing to seek appropriate advice for patient A.
If the panel find that her fitness to practice is impaired, she could be struck off the register.
The hearing continues today.
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