A NURSE who accused a patient of exaggerating illness and ‘swinging the lead’ has been suspended for 12 months.
University Hospital of Hartlepool staff nurse Tina Craven inappropriately accused the patient of exaggerating their symptoms, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard.
She also reacted aggressively when a colleague questioned her competency in October 2012 and failed to respect a patient’s dignity by barging into a cubicle when the curtain was drawn.
Nurse Craven, of Basingstoke Road, Peterlee, also got patients’ names mixed up and was uncooperative, saying to one colleague ‘You know nothing about wound care.’
The hearing was also told Craven pointed her finger and slammed fists during team meetings at the hospital in Holdforth Road.
She questioned colleagues’ qualifications and responded to requests by saying, ‘You’re taking the mick, why should I have to do this?’
She was suspended from the hospital in April 2011 on medical grounds after concerns raised by colleagues about her behaviour towards staff and patients.
“The suspension was lifted in July 2011, but Craven remained on sick leave until the following year.
Upon her return colleagues again raised concern about Craven’s aggressive behaviour and inability to adapt to new Trust policies.
Suspending Craven for 12 months for acting inappropriately and aggressively towards staff and patients, NMC panel chair Sheila Hewitt, said: “This situation was compounded by Miss Craven’s lack of engagement with her colleagues which must have had an adverse impact the effective management of the ward.
“The ward staff made considerable efforts to engage with Miss Craven.
“She was supported and encouraged in bringing up-to-date with her basic nursing competencies.
“These efforts were met with resistance and a combative and challenging manner, all of which probably contributed to a potentially adverse impact on the care of the patients.
“The panel noted evidence of Miss Craven’s inability to retain information about the patients in her team.
“This had caused patients in her care distress and confusion for example the patient who was given a theatre gown when she was not due to have surgery.
“The panel was also mindful of Miss Craven’s inability to take personal responsibility for her actions and omissions, instead choosing to make unfounded allegations of workplace bullying.”
Cath Siddle, director of nursing, patient safety and quality at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our main concern is always for our patients.
“As soon as concerns were brought to our attention we acted appropriately.
“We take any allegation made against an employee very seriously.”
She added: “This employee has since left the trust.”