Nurse given caution after DGH complaint

A nurse who refused to give a vulnerable patient a blanket after he complained that he was cold was let off with a caution.

Alexis Perreira opened the man’s window after accusing him of smoking while on duty at Eastbourne District General Hospital, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

She also incorrectly injected a patient with morphine at the East Sussex site, before tipping up a bed to move a patient during a night shift at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital.

A conduct and competence committee found Perreira guilty of misconduct in December last year but ran out of time before deciding her punishment.

Perreira was let off with a five-year caution.

Panel chair Brian Yates said, “The panel considered that the circumstances in this case fell right on the cusp between a lengthy caution and a short suspension order.

“The panel was aware that the restriction of a nurse’s ability to practise must be no more than it is necessary to satisfy the public interest.

“The panel has therefore decided to give Ms Perreira a caution order for the maximum period of five years.

“However, close the panel came to making it a suspension order reflects how serious this misconduct was and that such misconduct must not happen again.”

Perreira denied ‘Patient B’ a blanket while working on the Hailsham Ward at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital on February 22, 2008.

The man had been transferred from the intensive care unit just the day before, the hearing was told.

‘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,’ Greg Unwin, for the NMC, said.

According to Patient B, the nurse accused him of smoking inside and opened the window so he asked her for a blanket due to the cold.

‘Patient B said the registrant picked one up, but after a further disagreement with him where he said he wanted someone else to look after him,’ Mr Unwin added.

Perreira was cleared of telling Patient B: ‘You can freeze then and stay awake all night’.

The nurse was found guilty of a string of allegations including the tipping up of a patient’s bed at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital in November 2010.

Perreira also worked a bank shift at the hospital while dishonestly claiming sick pay and confessed to having falsely submitted on a job application that she was no longer working at East Sussex Healthcare Trust.

She was cleared of refusing to help an elderly patient walk at the Bristol Ward at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on November 2, 2010, and saying: ‘We are not hurting our back if you fall - if you fall, you fall’.

Perreira, who is allowed to remain in nursing without restrictions, was also cleared of grabbing a patient’s legs and throwing them onto the bed.