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Nurses in Staffordshire wrongly recorded waiting times

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A recent investigation has found that between 2000 and 2010 two Mid Staffordshire nurses have frequently recorded inaccurate waiting times in order to keep within the national 4-hour waiting target. Sharon Turner and Tracey-Ann White attempted to avoid breaches of the target by inaccurately recording patient waiting times on frequent occasions. This has resulted in an almost unprecedented hearing into nurses from Stafford by a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel. The regulator’s hearing was adjourned until today (Tuesday 23 July).

While the panel will assess their fitness to practice, both Ms. Turner and Ms. White denied all allegations against them, which do not only involve failure to accurately record waiting times. It was found that both nurses had instructed staff to transfer patients to wards with soiled sheets on many occasions, and had also told staff to lie about patient waiting time target breaches.

Patients “want to get real”

While Ms. Turner worked at the trust, between December 2003 and 2009, the panel ruled that she communicated with both staff and patients in an “inappropriate manner”. It was discovered that on one occasion Ms. Turner racially abused the new junior doctors in the trust, of Asian origin, referring to them as “suicide bombers”. When talking about patients, a similar level of disrespect was withheld as she said that patients “want to get real” – the hearing was informed.

Due to the extreme failure of Ms. Turner with respect to doing her job in an appropriate manner, six charges of misconduct stand against her name, these include: falsifying records, failings over patient care and making appropriate comments about patients and staff. The panel has ruled that her failure as a nurse has been “proved”.

Meanwhile, Ms. White faced five charges of misconduct, which are still under debate, as some allegations were “not proved”.

Chief executive at the trust Maggie Oldham said: “We will need to take some time to consider the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel’s findings once they announce their decisions.

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