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Nurse posed ‘serious risk to patients’
The former manager of a shamed care home was allowed to continue working as a nurse for months, despite an inquest ruling five residents died as a result of neglect, The Argus can reveal.
On Monday the Nursing and Midwifery council (NMC) suspended Nirmala Read from practicing as a nurse, stating she potentially posed a serious risk to patients.
In October last year West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield condemned “institutional abuse” and ruled neglect contributed to the deaths of five elderly people at Orchid View, in Copthorne, near Crawley.
A police investigation into Ms Read’s involvement in the home has finished and she has been released without charge after being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, but a professional NMC investigation continues.
In November last year – just a month after the conclusion of the inquest – an NMC hearing said she could still practice, although not as a manager, and under the supervision of a workplace line manager.
However, there is no indication she continued to work at the home in Copthorne, which is now under new management.
The order was amended on Monday when a new NMC hearing ruled it was no longer appropriate for her to work as a nurse owing to the “serious allegations” which had been made against her.
This week’s NMC report, referring to Orchid View, said a patient, who had been self-administering Warfarin for about 20 years, started bleeding and an ambulance was called.
It alleged Mrs Read noticed on the record sheet the Warfarin dosage was triple the prescription and she tried to “conceal the overdosing by destroying the original report and writing out a new handwritten sheet as a false record of medication”.
She is accused of not telling ambulance staff, which “could have altered the treatment that Patient A would have received in hospital, had they known of the overdose.
Patient A subsequently died”.
The NMC said the allegations were “very serious”, adding: “The allegations involve not only public protection but also the wider public interest in maintaining public confidence in the professions and upholding standards of conduct and behaviour.”
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