Care home nurse struck off for lying about death

Care home nurse struck off for lying about death

Joan George, 73, choked to death on a sandwich. (swns)
Joan George, 73, choked to death on a sandwich. (swns) (Stamford Mercury / SWNS)

A care home nurse has been struck off after he lied to a grieving family that a grandmother, 73, died in her sleep when she had really choked to death on a sandwich.

Nurse Neil Wright misled Joan George’s relatives about her death at Abbey Court Care Home, in Lincolnshire, on 28 September 2016, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told.

Staff failed to help the pensioner when she began to choke during a meal because of inadequate training.

An inquest previously ruled there had been a damning number of blunders at the care home which resulted in the pensioner’s death.

Abbey Court Care Home in Bourne, Lincolnshire. (swns)
Abbey Court Care Home in Bourne, Lincolnshire. (swns) (Stamford Mercury / SWNS)

Wright told daughter-in-law Mandy George that Mrs George was fed her supper at 10.15pm and was put to bed where she was later found dead.

But when Mandy visited the next day to collect her mother-in-law’s personal belongings, another carer told her to ask questions "as they were not being told the truth about what happened".

Documents later revealed Mrs George, who had dementia, had begun choking on a sandwich while being fed by a care assistant.

Wright had attempted to remove the blockage, supported by other care workers, and also called 999 before she died.

The NMC panel concluded Wright was "fully aware of the circumstances" of Mrs George's death, and had "actively" participated in the emergency situation.

They said he had "not been open nor honest" and that evidence showed the family were "deliberately misled".

Wright did not attend the hearing, but a panel of three found all eight charges against him, relating to three incidents, were proven and amounted to misconduct.

He was struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council register for 18 months with a 28-day appeal period following the four-day misconduct hearing last week.

In total, four of the eight charges related to Wright’s actions following the death of Mrs George the other two related to two falls by a female resident with dementia.

After the falls, the hearing was told Wright did not do clinical observations and injury assessments, and failed to record them or report them to colleagues.

Summing up, the panel said: “Both Resident A (Joan George) and Resident B were put at an unwarranted risk (which) resulted in actual harm as a result of Mr Wright’s misconduct.”

In mitigation, the hearing was told that Wright may have been under stress due to personal circumstances.

But the panel concluded he had shown "very limited remorse", and a "lack of meaningful engagement" with the investigation.

Mrs George's daughter-in-law Mandy, from Lincolnshire, added: “We can finally start to put to bed the grief and the hurt.”

A spokesperson for Priory Adult Care, which runs Abbey Court, said: “We expect all our nursing staff and other colleagues to uphold the highest standards of care, in the interests of those we have the privilege to look after.

“We have robust internal disciplinary measures and work closely with regulatory bodies, including the NMC, to take action where appropriate.

"We cannot comment further on individual cases.”