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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Cumbrian hospital nurse admits medication blunders

A nurse who gave drugs to a patient without checking who he was will be allowed to remain in the profession.

Carolyn Wishart can continue to work but only under strict conditions after admitting a series of blunders while administering medication at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

A hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London heard how she gave an injection to a patient which was intended for another man – and recorded in her notes that this had been done correctly – in November 2009.

Wishart also admitted preparing to give 2.5mls of stomach-ulcer medicine to a child, referred to only as Patient A, in October 2008, when 1.25mls was required.

Panel chairwoman Winsome Levy described her actions as “serious breaches” of the code of conduct.

She said Wishart’s ability to continue working had been compromised as a result of the mistakes.

But yesterday the panel imposed an 18-month conditions of practice order.

Ms Levy said: “She does not have full insight into her shortcomings and her failings could have caused serious patient harm.

“'The panel took into account that at the time of the admitted misconduct, she was under a great deal of stress in her personal life. 'The panel is also mindful that her career spans 40 years and that drug administration has been her only notable failure.”

She also said Wishart continued to show “genuine regret and remorse” for her actions.

Conditions imposed include meeting with a mentor at her new place of work – Branthwaite Nursing Home in Workington – every three months to discuss her progress. She must also keep a reflective diary and design a personal development plan focusing on drug administration and accountability.

During the hearing Wishart submitted a certificate from December last year that showed she had successfully completed a drugs safe handling course.

But it also emerged that less than a month later, in January, she made another similar error.

Wishart attended the proceedings, held in central London, and accepted the charges against her from the outset.

She also admitted the resulting allegation of misconduct.

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