Nurse cleared of dishonesty over elderly patient’s death
A NURSE has been allowed to continue working despite telling an elderly patient’s family he was “not looking very well” when he had in fact died.
• Nurse Faye Wilson stood accused of withholding condition of patient who had already died from family
• Disciplinary panel accepted that Wilson was motivated by “compassion not deceit”
• Panel imposed a two-and-a-half-year caution, stopping short of striking nurse off register
Faye Wilson phoned the man’s daughter on the morning of his death but kept the news from her.
The resident had died in the dining room earlier that day before being taken back to his bed in a wheelchair, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
But when she was speaking of his condition Wilson only said: “He’s not looking very well.”
Wilson, 52, has previously admitted withholding the information from the relative.
But she said she had done so to spare the daughter the distress of hearing the bad news over the phone first thing in the morning.
The disciplinary panel accepted she had been motivated by “compassion not deceit” and cleared her of acting dishonestly.
Wilson also faced a charge of failing to keep a correct record of the incident at the Beach Court Care Home in Aberdeen on 17 May, 2009.
The NMC alleged she deliberately wrote in the notes that the patient died in bed, despite knowing this was untrue and that his deteriorating condition meant he should not have been up in the first place.
Wilson denied the charge, however, and the panel also found this claim had not been proved.
At a hearing in central London earlier this week, the panel ruled Wilson’s ability to continue in the profession had been compromised by her actions.
But it decided not to strike her off the register, instead imposing a caution which will remain on her record for two-and-a-half years.
Chairwoman Jacki Pearce said: “The panel concluded that such an order was appropriate and sufficient and determined that the other more severe sanctions would be disproportionate in the circumstances of this case.
“A caution order will alert all potential employers to the panel’s finding of fact and impairment and to the issues which lie behind this case.
“The panel’s finding of misconduct and impairment are, in themselves, significant marks on your registration history and are in the public domain.”
Wilson’s colleague nurse Jenny Quinto, 34, was also convicted of misconduct for her role in the incident.
She too avoided being thrown out of the profession, but also received a caution, which will remain on her record for a year-and-a-half.
Quinto had previously admitted failing to ensure the note of the resident’s death was accurate and also confessed to arguing with Wilson after his death in front of colleagues.
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