Nursing misconduct led to death of patients
Residents of Essex may have heard of Operation Jasmine, an investigation by Gwent Police into allegations of neglect in a number of care homes in south Wales. The inquiry, which cost over £11 million, failed after the former owner of one of the care homes was declared medically unfit to be tried. The Nursing and Midwifery Council panel investigating the allegations against six nurses at Brithdir Care Home ruled that five of them were guilty of misconduct.
The NMC disciplinary panel investigated 150 alleged failings by the six nurses, said to have occurred over a period of two years between 2004 and 2006, and upheld 86 of them. The misconduct charges leveled against the five nurses were in connection with the record-keeping, treatment and substandard level of care for the residents in their charge, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable.
In a hearing in Cardiff, the NMC described the nurses’ callousness and disregard towards their patients and said that two residents had died as a direct result of the nursing failures. The panel spoke of how one nurse had to be forced by an inspector into letting a patient see a doctor, how two nurses, one of whom was a manager, exposed their patients to unnecessary risks of harm and of the resident who was hospitalised with 16 pressure sores.
Patients are entitled to a competent level of treatment and care, especially if they vulnerable. Cases of medical or clinical negligence may arise when injury or harm is caused by a breach of duty of care resulting in serious mistakes in the treatment given by a medical practitioner. A solicitor may be able to assist clients to prove that they have suffered from a breach of duty of care and that a competent medical professional would have acted differently.