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Nurse guilty of misconduct for putting hospital patients at risk

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Having worked at Stafford Hospital from 1998-2006, former chief nurse Janice Harry has been cautioned for leaving patients at risk by not staffing the wards properly. During her eight years at the hospital, it was found that inadequate nursing was provided to the A&E department and two other wards. Having been found guilty of this misconduct, Mrs Harry has still not admitted to charges concerning the bullying of colleagues.

When the case was presented to a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel, they deemed her fit to practice but provided her with a five-year caution order. The panel heard that instead of Mrs Harry’s focus lying on staffing levels, she was fixated on “training, targets and other matters”. It was also heard that at some points, a single nurse would be responsible for a ward of 17 patients.

‘Waste of space’

The panel told Mrs Harry that: “You had the professional responsibility for every nurse in the Trust…you had in the past placed patients at risk of harm.” Furthering her five-year caution order, the panel chastised Mrs Harry for treating her fellow colleagues cruelly, after she told a nurse that she was a “waste of space”.

Since the panel analysed the case, Mrs Harry has been cleared of charges concerning inappropriate handling of incident forms, bullying staff, poor cleanliness and hygiene and reducing other staff to tears and disregarding their concerns. 

  • Mrs Harry had been employed by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust for eight years, spanning 1998-2006.
  • She was the director of nursing and quality assurance from 1998 onwards.
  • 2002 saw her becoming the director of clinical standards and chief nurse at Stafford Hospital, as well as being director of infection prevention/control.

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