Tag Archives: Nurse

Hospital tells woman her mother is dead but calls later to tell her she is alive

A hospital told the family of a patient that she had died and allowed them to say their goodbyes only to telephone seven hours later to apologise and reassure them that their relation was still alive.

Phyllis Lilley’s daughter, Liz Page, 61, and her husband Gerry, 72, were too grief-stricken to notice that nurses had led them to the body of another woman to say goodbye.

Ms Page told the Sun newspaper: “I know it sounds ridiculous that we didn’t realise it was her body.”

Seven hours later however a hospital official telephoned to confess to the mix-up.

“I couldn’t believe it – I was angry and delighted at the same time,” said Ms Page.

“They said: ‘We’re very sorry you’re mother is not dead – she’s on another part of the ward’.

Emergency departmentEmergency department  Photo: ALAMY

“They said the woman who died had a similar name.”

Ms Lilley, 94, who had been admitted to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester following a stroke and was still alive on a nearby ward when her daughter and her husband called to pay their last respects.

“They said they were sorry to say my mum had passed away and asked if I wanted to see her. It was news I was expecting to hear.”

Ms Page said: “I didn’t sleep very well and at about 4.50am I had a phone call from the hospital.

“They said they were sorry to say my mum had passed away and asked if I wanted to see her. It was news I was expecting to hear.

“A nurse showed us into the cubicle. We were there about three or four minutes I suppose.

“I just said, ‘Goodbye’ and kissed her forehead and came out.

“I know it sounds ridiculous that we didn’t realise it was the wrong body. When you’re told your mum has died and you’re shown into a room, it just doesn’t enter your mind that it won’t be her.”

In a letter the hospital apologised and admitted checks had not been carried out. It declined to comment further.

Source The Telegraph

Stepping Hill deaths: Victorino Chua ‘a very good nurse’

A nurse accused of murdering patients was being bullied at the Greater Manchester hospital where he worked, a former colleague told a court.

Victorino Chua was a “very good nurse” but did not get on with some colleagues at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The 49-year-old is accused of murdering three patients and poisoning 18 others by secretly injecting insulin into saline bags between 2011 and 2012.

He denies all the charges.

The jury was told about the death of Arnold Lancaster, 71, allegedly murdered by Mr Chua during a spate of five poisonings on the ward while he was working the nightshift of July 10 to 11, 2011.

Nurse Angela Bryant, who was working the day shift on July 10, admitted Mr Lancaster to ward A1 about 18:30 BST and the patient was described as “very, very unwell”.

‘Really gentle’

In a statement, she described Mr Chua as “a very good nurse, very caring and courteous” who was “very quiet, he was never one for rubbish chit-chat”.

She said: “I’m aware there were rumours Vic was betting bullied on [ward] A3 by certain members of staff and wanted to move.

“I did not witness any bullying.

“His attitude is really good, really gentle. I have not seen him lose his temper with staff or patients. He’s a good nurse.”

According to the prosecution, Mr Lancaster, who was not diabetic, died as a result of insulin poisoning by Mr Chua.

The pensioner was suffering with cancer of the oesophagus and given palliative care after deciding against chemotherapy.

He had been admitted to Stepping Hill with fever and a high temperature following a fall and doctors suspected an infection.

Doctors discovered a tumour in the life-long smoker’s throat and the cancer had spread.

His sister, Christine Lancaster, said the day after her brother was admitted to Stepping Hill Hospital the final time, she went to visit him.

Her statement ended: “I was met by a nurse and told to sit down. It was at that point a nurse told me Arnold had just died.”

Mr Chua is also alleged to have murdered Tracey Arden, 44 and Derek Weaver, 83, along with poisoning other patients under his care through injecting insulin into saline bags that was then administered by “unsuspecting” co-workers.

Insulin can cause the body’s blood sugar to drop to dangerously low levels, leading to coma, brain damage and even death, known as hypoglycaemic episodes.

Mr Chua has pleaded not guilty to 37 charges in all, including 25 counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, eight counts of attempting to administer poison and one count of administering poison between June 2011 and January 2012.

Source BBC News

Mother dying of cancer asks Pennsylvania nurse to take care of her son

Tricia Somers, a single parent, had no family left to take care of her 8-year-old boy, Wesley, once she died of terminal cancer. 
Then she met a nurse at a Harrisburg, Pa., hospital. ‘If I die, can you take my son?’ the dying woman asked the nurse.
A Pennsylvania boy is getting to know a new family as his mother enters hospice care in her losing battle to cancer.
When Tricia Somers, 45, found out her liver cancer was terminal in March, the single mother had no idea who would take care of her 8-year-old until a nurse at a Pennsylvania hospital walked into her life.
“She came in and I felt this overwhelming feeling of comfort,” Somers recalled in an interview with WHTM-TV. “She’s going to take care of me. She’s the one.”
Nurse Tricia Seaman was there as the chemotherapy took its toll and left her unable to get out of bed to take her son, Wesley, to school.
Just before Somers was about to be discharged from Pinnacle Health’s Community General, she requested only one thing from Seaman when the inevitable happened.
“If I die, can you take my son?” Somers asked.
The nurse was shocked by her patient’s request, but seriously discussed the idea with her husband. The couple was already looking to adopt another son, adding to their family of three daughters and one boy, but never believed it would happen like this.
Wesley Somers and his mother, Tricia, have joined the Seaman family while she goes through hospice care for terminal liver cancer.
“I’ve never had an occasion not to trust my wife’s heart,” Daniel Seaman told WHTM-TV. “We have to do something. We have to figure out a way to make this happen.”
The Seamans said yes.
It would be a chance for Wesley to grow up with people who not only knew his mother, but could help him secure an education and know he’s not alone, according to ABC’s Good Morning America.
Wesley understands he doesn’t have a lot of time left with his mom, whom he described as loving and gentle, but shows unfathomable maturity even though he doesn’t like talking about her health.
“I didn’t have anybody until now. Anybody except for you, Mommy,” Wesley told his mother while playing with Legos in his bedroom.
It’s not clear how long Somers has left to live, but she’s spending her final months in hospice care with the Seamans and Wesley as one family.
“I feel bad that I’m doing that to him, but he says, ‘Mom, it’s not your fault,’” Somers told the TV station. “I’m just hanging in there and holding on and hopefully I can see my son grow up.”
Source New York Daily News.com

Nurse pleads guilty to neglecting nine patients at Princess of Wales Hospital

Rebecca Jones, 29, who has admitted neglecting nine patients at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend

A nurse has pleaded guilty to willfully neglecting patients at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

Rebecca Jones, 29, of Hazelmead, Brynmenyn, near Bridgend, admitted nine charges at Cardiff Crown Court.

The offences were committed between April 2012 and February 2013.

No details of her criminal actions were given in court by prosecutor Catherine Richards but the details will be outlined at a future hearing.

Two other defendants in the dock with Jones have not yet had indictments against them placed before the court.

Clare Cahill, 41, of Heol Treharne, Coytrahen, near Bridgend, and Lauro Bertulano, 44, of Litchard Cross, Bridgend will be asked to enter pleas to similar charges at a future date.

Ms Richards said investigations were still continuing.

After confirming her identity to the clerk of the court, Jones spoke nine further times – to repeat the single word “guilty” as each of the allegations was read to her.

She admitted willfully neglecting male and female patients who were “lacking capacity”.

The first charge put to her related to Lilian Maud Williams between September and November 2012 and the second to David Gough between November 7-16, the same year.

The other charges related to: Carolyn Sullivan, who was neglected on June 14, 2012; David Alun Evans between June 15-18, 2012; John Robert Jenkins between June 4 and July 22, 2012; Ronald Bevan on October 20, 2012; Colin Davies between April 13-20, 2012; Jean Preece between November 2012 and February 2013; and Kathleen Chappell between February 5-9, 2012.

Recorder of Cardiff Judge Eleri Rees adjourned proceedings until October, telling Jones a date when she will be sentenced would have to be decided in light of any future developments in the case and following pleas for the other defendants.

“She has faced up to her responsibility in this matter”, Judge Rees told defence lawyer Tim Hartland, and she indicated credit for the guilty pleas at the first crown court hearing will be reflected in eventual sentence passed.

Source Wales Online

New nursing code: Patients asked to help shape draft

Patients and the public are being urged to have their say over what standards nurses and midwives should abide by.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is drafting a new version of its code, which sets out standards of conduct, performance and ethics.
It will say patients should be treated with kindness, consideration and respect.
The NMC decided to revise the existing code partly because of events such as the scandal at Stafford Hospital.
There, patients were found to have died needlessly.
One of the criticisms made of the failings in care there was a lack of compassion from some nursing staff.
The Francis report made 290 recommendations to prevent “another Stafford” including a pilot for nurses to spend time working as support workers and healthcare assistants before taking their degrees.
The draft code covers areas such as care, communication, teamwork, professionalism and complaints handling.
The NMC regulates the UK’s 670,000 nurses and midwives. Nurses have to be registered with the NMC to practice – and they have to abide by the code.

Patient needs

Jackie Smith, NMC chief executive, said: “The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public, and the code is central in all that we do.
“It explains exactly what is expected of all nurses and midwives, no matter how and where they practise or what stage of their careers they are at.
“This is a chance to tell us what is important to you, and explain exactly what you expect from the people who care for you.”
Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “This is an important opportunity to help develop compassionate, high-quality nursing care for now and the future.”
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “It is vital that healthcare is centred around the needs of the patient.
“The NMC Code lays out the standards of conduct to which all nurses and midwives must adhere when treating their patients. It is therefore essential that patients themselves are genuinely and meaningfully involved at all stages in the planning, development and implementation of the code.
“We strongly encourage patients and the public to get involved with this important consultation process and help shape the future of healthcare provision in the UK.”
Article was taken from BBC Online

Birmingham nurse admits to working ’11 days’ in one week

A nurse admitted working the equivalent of 11 days in one week, including 30-hour stretches without a break.
Between 2005 and 2012 Aileen Monsanto had full-time jobs at both the BMI Priory Hospital and the Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said it was a “misguided attempt to keep her growing family together”.
It added she had “deliberately and dishonestly” failed to notify either of her employers of the situation.

‘No sleep’

The legal limit on weekly working hours is 48, but the nurse worked over 75 hours.
The disciplinary panel told Mrs Monsanto: “Your actions, which were deliberate and took place over a seven year period, were very serious, as they had the potential to cause significant harm to the wellbeing of your many patients.”
Although no patients were harmed as a result of her exhaustion, Mrs Monsanto acknowledged it was “very dangerous” for nurses to overwork to such an extent.
The panel heard financial demands on Mrs Monsanto’s family had caused her to take the second job.
Mrs Monsanto, a band five nurse, admitted to the disciplinary panel sometimes she was on duty having had “no sleep at all.”
In 2005, a band five NHS nurse earned between £15,877 and £23,442, by 2012 it had gone up to between £21,167 and £27,625.
It is currently between £21,478 and £27,901.
Mrs Monsanto now works full time at the Priory.
The panel imposed a two-year “conditions of practice” order on Mrs Monsanto, saying she must confine her working practice to her current maximum hours, she must notify the NMC of any other nursing work she took on and inform her employers of the order.
It said the order would be reviewed in two years’ time.
Paul Vaughan, director of the Royal College of Nursing in the West Midlands, said many nurses felt exhausted and were “struggling to make ends meet”.
“Yet… the government insist they are not worth a tiny pay rise,” he said.
Article was taken BBC Online

Worcestershire nurse cautioned for stealing drugs

A nurse has been cautioned for stealing drugs from Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Darren Carthew admitted to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) that he stole the medication between September 2010 and January 2011.
A colleague noticed the emergency department’s consumption of lorazepam dropped by two-thirds when Mr Carthew was on sick leave.
The NMC panel ruled that suspending him would not be in the public interest.
The tablets, which Mr Carthew stole for his own consumption, have a relaxing effect. He assured the panel he would not be tempted to reoffend.
The NMC accepted Mr Carthew showed insight and remorse and that he was a “competent and well-respected nurse”.
A caution order will remain on his record for five years, the panel said.
Article was obtained from BBC Online

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital nurse earns award for cancer victim help

A nurse who ensured a husband with terminal cancer could spend time at home with family in his final days has won a national award.
Sue Lovett, from the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in Shropshire, was honoured in the Nursing Standard Nurse of the Year 2014 awards.
She won the Patient’s Choice Award in a public vote after being shortlisted from nearly 100 nominations.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the honour was “richly deserved”.
The sister in the oncology ward went the “extra mile” to ensure the man could spend time at home with his wife and family, it added.
She was nominated by the man’s wife, Amanda Jacob.
Director of the RCN in the West Midlands, Paul Vaughan, said: “Compassion is one of the pillars of good nursing… She is a credit to our profession.”

Safe nursing levels recommended

Patients are at risk of harm if a nurse has to care for more than eight people on a ward during the day, draft NHS guidance suggests.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said hospitals in England should be wary about that workload being exceeded.
But it stopped short of stipulating one to eight was an absolute minimum, saying flexibility might be required.
The Department of Health said the number of front-line staff had risen.
While individual hospitals are currently allowed to set their own nurse staffing levels, NICE was asked to look at the issue by ministers.
They had promised to explore safe staffing levels following the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal.
NICE said in its draft guidance that in a situation where the recommended ratio of at least one nurse to eight patients had not been met, the hospital should be able to explain why.

‘Red flag’

There could be cases, for example, where patients’ illnesses and needs were less serious, and, therefore, it would be wrong to set strict thresholds, it said.
But the guidance recommends nurses raise the alarm – or a “red flag” – when care is being compromised, no matter what the ratio.
That could include situations where there are not enough staff to help patients use the toilet, monitor their vital signs or administer medication.
NICE deputy chief executive Prof Gillian Leng said: “There is no floor or ceiling number on the required number of nursing staff that can be applied across the whole of the NHS.”
She said decisions about the number of nursing staff should “allow flexibility on a day-to-day or shift-by-shift basis”.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Leng added that while there was “no magic number” for staffing levels, “care needs to be tailored to the patient’s needs”.
BBC health correspondent Nick Triggle said: “It is already accepted that in areas such as critical care ratios are essential.
“But applying this to general wards is another matter – and could have major implications for overall nurse numbers.”
The guidance, which is now being consulted on before the final recommendations are made in the summer, applies to general acute wards.
Specialist areas such as maternity, paediatrics, and accident and emergency will get their own guidance at a later stage.
Many hospitals have already started paying close attention to nurse numbers; for example, a number publicly display actual staffing levels on wards along with what they should be.
NHS England wants this to become routine across the health service, while later this year hospitals will have to submit their staffing levels each month so they can be displayed on the NHS Choices website.

‘Sensible’ guidance

Royal College of Nursing general secretary Peter Carter said: “For any patient to receive substandard care is unacceptable.
“Nurses will be hoping that once the full set of guidelines is completed, the NHS will never again be so vulnerable to short-term financially-driven decisions about patient care.”
He told the Today programme that it was important a ratio of one nurse to eight patients did not become mandatory as there were some settings – such as neonatal wards – where one-to-one care is needed.
To have a situation where “the minimum becomes the maximum” is “in no-one’s interests”, he added.
The guidance does not go far enough, according to former NHS Trust chairman Roy Lilley.
He said: “If you go on holiday and you fly, the steward to passenger ratio is prescribed in law. If you leave your kids at a creche, the carer to kids ratio is prescribed in law.
“If you got to a football ground, the steward to spectator ratio is prescribed in law. But if you leave your granny in a hospital ward, it’s left to one of Gillian Leng’s red flags.”

‘Step forward’

A spokesman for the Foundation Trust Network, which represents hospitals, said the guidance was “sensible” and supported what many trusts were already doing, however.
“Local nursing and clinical teams are best placed to make the judgement on what is best for their patients,” he added.
The guidance also applies to Wales, although it will now be up to ministers there whether it will be applied.
In Scotland, hospitals are already routinely monitoring and publishing staffing levels – although there are no recommended minimums.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “NICE’s work on staffing is a major step forward – for the first time in its history, the NHS will have the evidence it needs to make sure that nurses are able to spend enough time with their patients.”
A Department of Health spokesman said the number of admin staff and managers in hospitals had been cut since 2010 but there were 5,100 more nurses working on wards.
“We have increased the NHS budget in real terms and are clear that hospitals must balance their books whilst ensuring compassionate, quality care for all. We know this can and is being done,” he said.

Source BBC News

Ex-Stafford Hospital chief nurse struck off

The most senior nurse to be disciplined as part of the Stafford Hospital scandal has agreed to be struck off the nursing register.

Janice Harry, who was director of nursing, had been given a five year caution for failings in her role.

She was accused of bullying colleagues and endangering patients’ lives with inadequate staffing levels.

Harry, now retired, reached an agreement with the nurses watchdog the NMC to be taken off its register.

This means she will no longer be permitted to work as a nurse in the UK.

Her case had been referred by the NMC up to the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).

Ms Harry has denied a series of charges related to alleged failures to ensure adequate nursing staffing levels and appropriate standards of record keeping, hygiene and cleanliness, administration of medication, provision of nutrition and fluids and patient dignity.

She also denies accusations of bullying staff who raised problems with her – allegedly creating a “stressful and unpleasant” atmosphere which discouraged staff from reporting problems.

The Stafford Hospital scandal first came to national prominence following the publication of a report by the Healthcare Commission in March 2009.

The regulator criticised the hospital for its “appalling” standards.

The investigation was prompted by complaints and statistics showing more people were dying than would be expected.

Jackie Smith, chief executive of the Nursing and Midwifery Council said: “We are pleased to confirm a legal agreement has been reached between the NMC, Professional Standards Authority (PSA) and Janice Harry, which will lead to her being struck off the nursing register.

“We had previously raised concerns about the sanction imposed by an independent panel in November 2013, and took immediate steps to refer it to the PSA for review.

“The case raised important issues about the responsibility of nurses who hold senior management positions and their duty to ensure the protection of the public.”

Source BBC News