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Ex-Stafford chief nurse caution “too lenient”

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A health regulator has made an appeal to alter the discipline of Stafford Hospital’s former chief nurse after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) made a far too “lenient” decision. Following the Stafford Hospital scandal, the NMC agreed that ex-chief nurse Janice Harry was still fit to practice but gave her a five-year caution order. The Professional Standards Authority (PSA), however, have called for the caution to be challenged at the High Court with the belief that the NMC were “unduly lenient”.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and its predecessor Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust employed Ms Harry between 1998 and 2006. The Stafford Hospital scandal saw Ms Harry putting many patients under great threat by not ensuring that wards were appropriately staffed. The NMC found that the staffing levels were far below adequate in the accident and emergency department and two other wards.

“Patients at risk of harm”

The PSA have lodged an appeal with the High Court to make their own judgement on the case; or proposed the alternative route that the NMC panel reconsider the case. The director of quality and scrutiny, Rosalyn Hayles, said:

The public have a right to expect that senior managers will be held to account for their actions when these place patients at risk of harm, just as much as staff on the front line.

The case continues and Ms Harry has refused comment.

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