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7th Jul, 2022

Sacked nurse points to problems in staffing

Malvern Editorial 3rd Dec, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A NURSE who was sacked by Bupa for more than a dozen incidents of misconduct has claimed the care provider understaffed certain units she was working on.

Lorraine Roberts was given a three-year caution order by the Nurse and Midwifery Council (NMC), but has not been barred from the profession.

She admitted to numerous code of conduct breaches which occurred while working at two Malvern care homes and blamed the pressure she was working under, although Bupa have dismissed claims that there were any staffing issues.

Incidents involving six different patients occurred in January 2010 while Ms Roberts was working at Court House Nursing Home in Barnards Green as a unit manager.

They included administering incorrect doses of medication, failing to properly manage a patient suffering from bed sores and failing to report mistakes when they were discovered or fill in the necessary paperwork.

A second set of charges concerned a period in October 2012 while she held a management position at The Springs Nursing and Residential Care Home in Spring Lane, which is mainly for elderly people suffering with dementia.

On one occasion one of Ms Roberts’ false nails fell into a patient’s porridge because she was not wearing gloves as required.

Another time she was witnessed forcing a tablet into the mouth of an ‘expressionless’ patient who did not want to take it.

Ms Roberts admitted to further allegations of mishandling medication at the home and she was subsequently dismissed by Bupa in December 2012.

The NMC sanctioned her last month (November) declaring she had brought the profession into disrepute and put patients at risk of unnecessary harm.

But the body ruled it would be disproportionate to suspend her due to the ‘insight and remediation’ she had shown since working for The Martha Trust where she has undertaken extensive training. The employer has also given her positive references.

Ms Roberts said: “Looking back on the events in the last four years I can clearly see now why I would have made errors and I am extremely upset and embarrassed that I could have caused any risk to my residents, whose primary care was my sole aim.

“The events are devastating to me personally and have controlled my life for the past four years.

“I was not an example to those who I managed and did not carry out best practice.

“My only explanation for my behaviour was the increased management pressure and stress that I felt in an understaffed environment”.

Bupa responded to the claim on Monday (December 1). A spokeswoman said: “Our residents’ welfare is always our number one priority.

“Nurse Roberts was dismissed two years ago due to errors with medication management and referred to the NMC for their consideration.

“We don’t believe staffing levels contributed to these errors being made.”

 

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