Nurse cleared of charges

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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An agency nurse who allowed a reclusive mental health patient from Sheffield to try to give her £6,000 from her bank account has escaped punishment.

Nurse Linnette Hastings took the patient to a Lloyds TSB branch in Meadowhall shopping centre, after the vulnerable woman had already been prevented from withdrawing funds from another branch.

Hastings refused to show bank staff identification, and did not try to calm the patient down when she became agitated, the Nursing and Midwifery Council was told.

The patient initially complained to staff at Lloyds in Intake that a cheque issued to her for £6,000 had bounced.

When staff told her the cheque had in fact had been made out to Hastings, she tried to withdraw the £6,000 to hand to Hastings.

Bank employee Jane Moulding told the hearing she refused the patient’s request to withdraw the money because she considered the situation to be ‘very suspicious’.

Mrs Moulding also noticed the handwriting on the cheque stub did not match the patient’s signature and the woman appeared to have learning difficulties and seemed ‘frightened’ of Hastings.

The tribunal heard a strong bond had formed between Hastings and the patient at the East Glade Centre in Frecheville, and the patient refused to see other health workers.

But Hastings, who worked for Advantage Healthcare, was cleared of causing or allowing the patient to attempt to withdraw the money.

Panel chair Gary Leong said: “The panel finds there is no dishonest intent on your part as it believed you when you stated you had no intention of receiving the money if it were given to you.”

The conduct and competence committee also found Hastings had not committed misconduct by allowing the patient to try to give her money.

Mr Leong added: “The panel concluded that although Miss Hastings demonstrated poor judgement, misguided behaviour and unsatisfactory behaviour, this in itself did not amount to misconduct.

“Miss Hastings has been a nurse for 33 years, with a previous good history.

“The panel was not satisfied that there had been a falling short sufficiently serious that it would amount to misconduct.”

Hastings, who attended the London hearing, had denied all charges against her.