Former DGH nurse struck off for incompetence

Eastbourne District General Hospital
Eastbourne District General Hospital

A former Eastbourne District General Hospital nurse has been struck off following a string of errors – in a bid to protect to the public from harm.

Nicola Jane Slater has been given a striking off order following a review hearing by a panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council on July 9.

A report from the hearing found Miss Slater, who was working in the endoscopy unit at the DGH, ‘failed to demonstrate the standards or knowledge, skill and judgement’ required to pass as a nurse.

Between 2009 and 2010, the catalogue of errors Miss Slater committed included: failing to prepare the room and equipment and failing to complete the re required nursing documentation.

It also said she failed to adequately manage patient airways, monitor and record patient observations during procedures and the recovery period and correctly label samples.

The charges against Miss Slater were proved following a hearing in March 2011 and was ordered with an interim conditions of practice order and a suspension order.

A report of the hearing in 2011 states: “These are serious allegations relating to wide-ranging areas of clinical competence over an extended period of time.

“The panel therefore considered that there was a risk of repetition and a risk of harm to patients.

“The panel noted that this was the registrant’s first job after training.

“The registrant initially worked on an endoscopy unit which was where the problems arose.

“However on another ward the registrant appears to have worked satisfactorily.

The NMC did not provide any evidence relating to incidents which had caused actual patient harm as Ms Slater had been ‘supervised adequately’ to prevent this from occurring.

The report states: “The panel had concerns about the registrant’s insight into her failings in practice.

“She had co-operated with her previous employer in attempting to rectify these failings, but she considered that she had been working in an environment that was unsupportive and that this had affected her performance.”

However following a review on Thursday, July 9, the panel concluded the ‘only sanction available to it sufficient to protect the public and maintain public confidence in the professions and the NMC as Regulator is a striking-off order’.

The report said Miss Slater had ‘chosen to disengage with the NMC process, and has not provided the panel with any evidence of any remedial action she has taken to address the wider ranging concerns in the case’.

It continued, “In reaching this decision the panel bore in mind the potential financial and reputational hardship this may cause to Miss Slater.”

“In any event, the panel concluded that the public interest outweighed Miss Slater’s own interests in this matter.”

A spokesman for East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust confirmed Miss Slater left the trust in December 2009.

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