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6th Jul, 2022

Nurse struck off following series of medical blunders

A NURSE who left a patient lying in blood-soaked sheets and made a catalogue of medical blunders has been struck off.

Fiona Cutts worked for South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) when she made numerous errors including failing to fetch a children’s trolley when a patient was not breathing.

Other issues included giving the incorrect medicine several times – such as administering one patient anti-sickness medication which is commonly used for vomiting caused by chemotherapy or surgery. She then failed to ‘escalate’ the error and tell an anaesthesiologist.

Another patient was given an incorrect dose of morphine.

The trust requested the nurse take a drug competency test in 2015 in which she scored 38 per cent. The pass rate was 75 per cent.

Concerns were raised in 2012 but Mrs Cutts was given ‘extensive’ support by the trust until 2015 when she was referred to the Nursing and Midwife Council (NMC) which has since issued her with two suspension orders.

She retired in 2015 and took on a role as a clinical support worker at the trust, where she is still employed.

The NMC said Mrs Cutts – who had been a registered nurse since 1998 – did not want to return to the profession.

The panel of three judges has since decided Mrs Cutts should be struck off the NMC register meaning although she can continue to work at the trust in her current role, she will never again be able to practice as a nurse.

A spokeswoman for the panel said: “Mrs Cutts’ lack of competence put patients at considerable risk of harm. Although, the panel notes on some occasions witnesses have expressly stated that no patient harm was caused as a result of Mrs Cutts’ care, these incidents put patients at risk.

“Mrs Cutts resigned from the trust, took retirement and then returned to work as a clinical support worker. This demonstrates some level of insight.

“The panel notes she has not disputed these charges and therefore considers it likely that Mrs Cutts knew her practice fell far below the standards expected of a registered nurse in her position.”

SWFT says the former nurse is fully supervised in her current role.

A spokeswoman told the Observer: “Patient safety is at the forefront of our work. When performance issues with this member of staff were identified appropriate steps were immediately taken.

“This individual is no longer working as a registered nurse within the trust. The NMC hearing noted that there were no previous regulatory concerns and the member of staff showed some initial improvement in practice following recognition of their errors.

“As a result the individual has been reassigned as a Clinical Support Worker. This role does not include the planning of patient care or administration of medication and this individual is supervised at all times by fully qualified healthcare professionals.”

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