17th Sep, 2019

Nurse at Warwick Hospital made repeated errors

Laura Kearns 20th Jul, 2017

A REGISTERED nurse could have put ‘patients at risk’ by making repeated errors while she worked at Warwick Hospital.

Lisa Hitchcock has been handed a 12 month conditions of practice order by the Nursing and Midwife Council (NMC). It means she will only be able to nurse in a nursing home and work under the supervision of a registered nurse.

The order follows a hearing where nearly 20 errors were found to have taken place while she worked as a nurse at the hospital from July 2014 before being dismissed 12 months later.

At the time the errors took place the nurse was already under a ‘conditions of practice order’ from a previous hearing.

The latest incidents included incorrectly recording medication, failing to observe a seriously ill patient, inability to perform routine procedures, required prompting to give medication and leaving the controlled drugs cupboard unlocked.

Ms Hitchcock – who now works at a care home in north Warwickshire – was employed as a newly-qualified nurse at Warwick Hospital following a career break.

She was under supervision for six months which was extended to a year following concerns raised by colleagues. During her time there she was also issued with a written ‘Notice of Poor Performance’.

A number of witnesses were called to the NMC hearing, including heads of nursing and managers.

When coming to their decision to impose another conditions of practice order, the panel said patients had been put at potential risk of harm.

A spokeswoman for the panel said: “The panel concluded failings in relation to the charges found proved were wide ranging and related to fundamental nursing practice.

“This case is not one where the lack of competence could be described as a single incident. Instead there was a pattern of work of an unacceptably low standard.

South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) – which runs Warwick Hospital – say patients were not at risk.

A spokesman said: “Keeping our patients safe is a priority for the trust. To ensure patients safety was not compromised appropriate measures were taken when performance issues with this individual were highlighted.

“The trust followed a robust performance management process, which included a referral to the NMC.

“This individual no longer works for SWFT and we note that it is a requirement of the NMC’s order that the individual confines their practice to a nursing home setting.”

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