DGH nurse told patient “you can freeze” after smoking row - Nursing & Midwifery Council hearing

A nurse allegedly refused to give a DGH patient a blanket and told him, ‘You can freeze then and stay awake all night’.

It is claimed Alexis Perreira opened the man’s window after accusing him of smoking while on duty at the hospital.

Perreira allegedly failed in her duties as a nurse while working for three different trusts between 2007 and 2010.

Greg Unwin, for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, told the panel how she denied ‘patient B’ a blanket while working on the Hailsham Ward on February 22, 2008.

“This concerned Patient B who had been transferred from the intensive care unit the previous day.

“He said he had been out with his family for a cigarette, and when he got back he got back into bed and fell asleep watching television,’ said Mr Unwin.

According to Patient B, the nurse accused him of smoking inside and opened the window.

He asked her for a blanket because he would be cold.

“Patient B said the registrant (Perreira) picked one up, but after a further disagreement with him where he said he wanted someone else to look after him.

“She dropped the blanket back on the chair and said ‘you can freeze then and stay awake all night’.”

During an internal investigation into the incident, Perreira told her bosses that she had not accused Patient B of smoking inside, but had merely said that the room smelled of smoke.

“She said that the patient asked her not to touch him or go near him.”

The panel heard the nurse is also accused of grabbing a patient’s legs and throwing them onto the bed, refusing to help another patient mobilise and tipping Patient E’s bed while she was still in it.

Perreira allegedly refused to help an elderly patient walk at the Bristol Ward at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on November 2, 2010, saying, “We are not hurting our back if you fall – if you fall, you fall.”

A patient also remembered her bed being tilted while she was still lying on it.

“The registrant had tipped the bed, head down, to assist her in moving the patient up the bed rather than using a flat sheet,” Mr Unwin said.

“When asked about this she said it was her normal practice.”

Nine days later Perreira is said to have shouted at a woman whose cannula had come lose when she went to the toilet, saying, “Look at the mess you have made, what have you done?.”

The nurse, who is attending the central London hearing, admits incorrectly administering morphine to a patient while working at the DGH on April 20, 2007.

She has also confessed to having falsely submitted on a job application to Brighton and Sussex University Hospital (BSUH) NHS Trust stating she was no longer working at East Sussex Healthcare Trust.

Perreira denies all other allegations against her including working a shift for one hospital while signed off sick by the BSUH.

If the panel finds that her actions amounted to misconduct and that her fitness to practise is impaired, she could be kicked out of the profession.

The hearing continues.