A nurse who worked as a healthcare support worker at Grantham Hospital has been struck off for a series of failings which placed patients ‘at risk’ at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.
Edna Johnson Finch was working at Boston’s Sibsey Road facility when the incidents took place. They included compromising an elderly patient’s dignity, failure to undertake patient observations, problems with administering medication, lack of awareness of infection control and inaccurate record keeping.
Following a hearing in London, which Mrs Finch did not attend, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) decided her misconduct was so serious that she should be removed from the nursing register.
Mrs Finch was employed by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust between February 2013 and February last year. During her time there, she worked on an elderly care ward and on a gastroenterology and endocrinology ward at the Boston hospital.
She had previously been a healthcare support worker at Grantham Hospital and had qualified as a nurse in January 2013.
While at Pilgrim Hospital, a number of colleagues expressed concerns about her practice and she was investigated. Most of the allegations were of failures around medication, including not completing rounds quickly enough and a lack of knowledge about medicines.
The NMC found that 11 charges levelled against her, which related to 15 patients, were proved and it concluded that her actions put a number of patients at risk of harm.
The panel hearing her case said: “Mrs Finch’s misconduct and lack of competence was not a single instance; there were many errors over a period of some months, despite significant support from colleagues at the trust during this time.
“Her lack of competence related primarily to medicines administration, and that the safe administration of medicines is a fundamental tenet of the profession.”
Announcing the panel’s decision to remove her from the register, the NMC added: “The panel considered that some of the patients in Mrs Finch’s care were vulnerable elderly and confused patients, who had been placed at a significant risk of harm due to her wide-ranging spectrum of failure.
“The panel determined that to allow Mrs Finch to continue practising would expose patients to risk of harm and would undermine public confidence in the nursing profession, and the NMC as regulator.”
Mrs Finch has 28 days to lodge an appeal against the decision. If she does so, she will remain suspended until the outcome of the appeal.