Anxious wait for nurse who left very ill patient

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A CARE home nurse in Sheffield who left a dementia sufferer close to death faces an anxious wait over her career.

Angela Phiri knew the woman had just been sick, and was in need of urgent attention, but did nothing to help, a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel decided.

But the 48-year-old registered nurse will have to wait until a fresh hearing to see if she will be found guilty of misconduct.

Colleagues at Northfield Nursing Home on Roebuck Road in Crookesmoor said they found the woman - referred to as Patient B - unconscious in bed with vomit over her clothes and pillow in April 2009.

Phiri was sacked by the home’s parent company Palms Row Healthcare the following month.

Night care manager Jennifer Peacock said she found Patient B ‘on the verge of dying’ and had to remove a quantity of vomit from her mouth before paramedics arrived.

NMC panel chair Sheila Hewitt said: “The registrant disputes Patient B vomited. She maintains Patient B was hyper-salivating as a result of Parkinson’s Disease.

“The panel disagrees and has determined Patient B did vomit.”

Phiri claimed that, when she clocked off her shift at 7.45pm, Patient B was sleeping on her side.

But night shift nurse Alyna White said she found Patient B on her back unconscious shortly after taking over Phiri’s duties.

The panel said Phiri had made inadequate checks on her patient.

“As the nurse in charge, the registrant had a duty to carry out observations as soon as she discovered the patient had vomited,” Ms Hewitt said.

“The registrant failed to do this.”

Phiri, who after her dismissal from Northfield took work as an agency nurse, and has been employed full time at another care home since last January, was cleared by the panel of a further charge.

It was claimed she had failed to call an emergency doctor to treat another patient in March 2009 after he had shown signs of a fever.