Nurse didn’t try to save dying patient

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A NURSE found guilty of abandoning a dying 84-year-old woman who passed out in a care home dining room has been banned from working for six months.

Elizabeth Bentley made no attempt to revive the pensioner, who was unconscious and had no pulse, after suffering a string of suspected mini-strokes.

The 34-year-old told staff to take the wheelchair-user, who was referred to only as Patient A, back to a bedroom, where she was found dead a few minutes later.

Bentley was working as a community staff nurse for Rotherham Primary Care Trust when she visited the woman at Listerdale Care Home in Wickersley on February 5, 2008, between 10.40am and 11.55am.

Cassandra Scarborough told the Nursing and Midwifery Council Bentley ‘failed to attend adequately to Patient A’s needs’.

She said: “When she attended that morning she didn’t take her nursing bag, she failed to perform basic life support and then she left the patient following an episode of unconsciousness.

“There were no notes made by the registrant in relation to the incident.”

The NMC panel found Bentley guilty of failing to attempt to resuscitate the patient, call paramedics or make observations as a result of not bringing her nursing bag.

Bentley, who chose not to attend the hearing, was also found guilty of failing to obtain medical records and document the care provided to the patient.

The panel agreed her fitness to practice was impaired and her conduct fell below that of a registered nurse.

Panel chairman Andrew Popplewell gave Bentley a six-month suspension order and 18-month interim suspension order.

He said: “This was an isolated incident, not deliberate - it was an omission rather than a commission and Ms Bentley has a good history prior to this incident

“But she caused the patient harm and she has not demonstrated insight into her shortcomings, expressed regret or provided any evidence that she has taken rehabilitative or corrective steps.

“Hopefully she will be in a position to satisfy the panel that, if she was confronted with a similar situation, she would be able to deal with it effectively.”