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Southampton General Hospital nurse struck off for putting patients at risk
A NURSE at Southampton General Hospital put patients in danger by failing to give them their medicines, a disciplinary panel heard.
Rachel Ingham made a catalogue of mistakes over a year that left sick people at “risk of serious harm”.
Colleagues accused her of having a “cavalier” attitude to her errors.
Now she has been struck off for failing to provide the most basic nursing care meaning she can never work in the NHS again.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard that over a 12-month period the experienced nurse didn’t give patients their prescribed medication, failed to offer them water and didn’t record that medication had been given, risking possible overdoses.
The nurse, who worked within the cardiovascular and thoracic care group on ward E3, also admitted not offering a painkiller to a patient who was feeling unwell and in March 2008 twice signed a patient’s drug chart to indicate she had administered an injection into the patient’s stomach, despite not having done it.
The NMC’s fitness to practice panel heard that Ms Ingham admitted all the allegations against her, which all occurred between January 2008 and 2009, and that her colleagues had accused of having a “cavalier” attitude to her mistakes.
In a statement Ms Ingham said: “With hindsight, my demeanour at work had changed and my ability to concentrate was impaired which then led to a deterioration in the standard of my nursing care.”
She added that the stress of working in a hospital environment and working irregular shifts had an effect on her performance and that her health has benefitted “greatly” from working in a less stressful environment as a health care assistant at a nursing home.
The panel heard that Ms Ingham had not worked as a nurse since April 2009 when she was dismissed from her post.
The panel report said: “Failing to provide basic nursing care, by denying patients water and analgesia and failing to administer prescribed medication has the potential to put patients at unwarranted risk of serious harm.
“Recording that medication has been administered when it has not, carries the same risk of causing harm to patients. Similarly, failing to record that medication has been administered can lead to overdoses being given, since colleagues will not be aware of what medication a patient has already received.”
Taking into consideration the multiple and serious failings in basic patient care over an extended period, the panel ruled only a striking off order was appropriate. Ms Ingham has 28 days to appeal the decision.
Judy Gillow, director of nursing at University Southampton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Despite the introduction of a number of measures, including restriction of duties, senior supervision and additional training, it was not felt Ms Ingham’s standard of nursing care would improve to the high levels we expect of our staff and, as a result, she was dismissed and reported to the NMC.”
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