A NURSE has been removed from the register after failing to correctly assemble ventilation equipment for a resident which contributed to their death.
Katherine Phillips had also failed to identify a deterioration in the resident’s health during the incident at Helen and Douglas House hospice in Oxford, Oxfordshire in 2016.
She then did not provide emergency care to the resident as their health deteriorated.
Following the incident, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched an investigation and decided to issue Phillips with a striking off order last week (13 OCT).
The NMC’s allegations, which were all found proved, state: “That you a registered nurse, on 14 May 2016 failed to correctly assemble Resident A’s NIPPV 3 ventilation equipment in that you discarded part of the whisper valve.
“Your actions caused and or contributed to the death of Resident A.
“[You] failed to identify a deterioration in Resident A’s health.
“[You] failed to provide emergency care following the deterioration in Resident A’s health and in light of the above your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your misconduct.”
The panel had previously issued Phillips with a three month suspension as they looked further into her case to review what had happened in 2016.
Phillips gave evidence to the panel by way of an email in which she stated that ‘nursing was in her blood‘.
She said: “Although it as taken some time and a lot of gardening I feel that I am ready to continue a career in nursing. Mainly really because I miss the role and it is in my blood as I come from a medical family.
“Being a nurse forms part of my identity. I have continued to reflect on my time at Douglas house and feel that am ready and able to incorporate those learning experiences into my nursing practice with insight, transparency and caution.
“During this time I have been working as a support worker for ‘Aspergers East Anglia’ and have forwarded to you some correspondence with them. I had worked with Autistic young adults before and it has been good to connect and help them navigate through independent living.”
On making their decision, the NMC said: “The panel is mindful that any conditions imposed must be proportionate, measurable and workable.
“The panel bore in mind the seriousness of the facts found proved at the original hearing and that Miss Phillips’ lack of insight and the lack of evidence that she has taken to strengthen her practice since the first substantive order was imposed.
“In light of the above, the panel concluded that unfortunately a further period of suspension would not serve any useful purpose in all of the circumstances.
“The panel also observed that given the circumstances and the evidence before it, simply prolonging the conclusion of the proceedings with a further period of suspension would not be in the public interest.
“Based on the evidence before it, the panel determined the only sanction that would adequately protect the public and serve the public interest was a striking-off order.”