Overbearing Welsh Nurse Sacked

by Gopalan on  June 2, 2008 at 12:55 PM Nursing Profession News
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 Overbearing Welsh Nurse Sacked
An overbearing Welsh nurse who manhandled babies and screamed at newborns has been sacked.

A misconduct hearing heard how Mari Holland Roberts at a hospital in Denbighshire acted aggressively and with force towards three different babies over a period of two months in 2003.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practice hearing, held last month, found that 62-year-old Roberts abused one infant by calling it a "stupid baby," "useless," thumped a baby girl hard on the back, manhandled a crying baby; and gave a dying baby an extra dose of morphine but failed to tell anyone of the extra dose.

Roberts, from Ruthin, Denbighshire, did not attend the hearing because of ill health.

She had worked at the hospital since 1993 and had been a nurse since the late 1960s, but was suspended immediately after the incident, pending an investigation.

The hearing heard from Roberts' colleague Jane Trowman, who confirmed Roberts had verbally abused one baby on October 9, 2003, reports Andrew Dagnell in Wales On Sunday.

Roberts admitted that she also roughly handled the baby on the same night. According to Kathleen McLean, who chaired the hearing, she carried out "rough bottle feeding, plonking of the baby down with some force and then turning the baby's head with some force."

On the same night, Roberts attended to a crying baby and also used force while looking after it. Ms McLean said: "Baby B was crying and the respondent picked her up... not protecting her head, and then plonked her down on her lap. Then she winded baby B with thumps of considerable force."

And a month later Roberts was caring for a dying newborn baby when she took it upon herself to increase the child's morphine dosage to help alleviate the child's pain.

Ms McLean said: "A nurse should never arrogate herself the authority to increase a dosage, particularly the dosage of an opiate."

The hearing panel also blasted Conwy & Denbighshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, for not taking action.

Ms McLean said: "The NHS trust has some explaining to do... The committee is of the strong view that the management and procedures within the trust must have been partly responsible for what happened."

The trust responded saying it was looking into the hearing's findings. A spokesman said: "The trust is confident that it comprehensively followed the All Wales Child Protection Procedures together with its own internal disciplinary processes in this matter.

"Accordingly, the trust is seeking clarification from the Nursing and Midwifery Council with regard to the adverse comments made."

The Trust also said they had given the babies' parents support and that no long-term damage had been caused to any of them.

The spokesperson said: "Senior clinicians from the children's department at Glan Clwyd Hospital have supported the families of those babies in question who had been cared for by the nurse. They have been reassured that their babies were not harmed as a result of the nurse's conduct. The trust has also been able to confirm that there was no adverse impact for any other baby being cared for on the unit at that time."

Source: Medindia

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