Bungling Sunderland nurse cleared of misconduct

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A SUNDERLAND nurse who admitted to mislabelling six samples which were meant for cervical screening has been cleared to return to work.

Louise White faced a string of allegations at a two-day Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing, at the Old Bailey in London, but a panel cleared her of misconduct.

She also admitted that she changed a patient’s medical records to say that the woman was “taking contraception”, despite not knowing if it was true.

The allegations were from a four-year period between 2008 and 2012 when she worked firstly at Castletown Medical Centre and later at Rainton Surgery, in West Rainton.

Chairman of the panel Gill Madden told Ms White: “It is clear in the panel’s view that your record keeping in relation to this matter was not good practice.

“You should have dated the note and marked that it was retrospective.

“However, the panel has found there was no dishonesty attached to your retrospective amendment, which resulted from a detailed discussion of Patient A’s case with Ms One, senior GP at the surgery.

“It has also accepted your evidence that the message which you had intended to communicate was that Patient A was on prescribed contraception.

“Furthermore, this was an isolated incident of poor record keeping.”

The nurse was also alleged to have told a patient she was treating that she thought she was “looking for a sick note”, but it was not proven.

Another charge that she did not adequately syringe a patient’s ears and instead asked him to put his ear under a tap and run the water in order to unblock wax, was also unproven.

The panel decided that Mrs White had no case to answer regarding six other allegations, including claims that she administered a MMR vaccination to a woman without knowing whether or not she was pregnant.

Ms Madden said: “The panel considered that mislabelling samples was a potentially serious error as it could mean that a patient does not receive the appropriate treatment.

“It came about because you did not appreciate that the system of printing labels, which was new to you, produced a duplicated printout rather than a single printout, although you failed to read each label prior to use.

“The seriousness of your mistake was also mitigated by the facts that there was a system to pick up your error and that when it was brought to your attention, you acted honestly and correctly.

“In essence, this was a single negligent act on your part and the panel did not consider it sufficiently serious to amount to misconduct.”