A nurse who escaped jail for trussing an 88-year-old woman in her bed with a towel has appeared before the Nursing and Midwifery Council – for falling asleep at a different home, ignoring a patient’s low blood pressure and leaving needles lying around in another.
Ana Focsa fell asleep on a night shift while looking after vulnerable residents at St George’s Nursing Home in Marine Drive, Fairhaven, in August 2013.
She claimed she had fallen asleep due to a bad bout of food poisoning, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
Simon Walters, for the NMC, said: “Ana Focsa was working a night shift at the home.
“Two matrons undertook unannounced visits to establishments that were within the Century Healthcare Group.
“It was during the night they made an unannounced visit. They entered the building at some time after 2.30am.
“They went and did checks and at approximately 3.30am went back to the lounge and found the registrant (Ana Focsa) asleep on two chairs pushed together.
“They observed her for about five minutes and then woke her up.
“She was reminded of her responsibilities and was asked to leave the home some time after4am. That was the last time she set foot in the home.
“Nurses who are in charge of homes and then fall asleep during a night shift present potential risks to the resident of the home.
“The registrant says in her statement she had fallen ill with suspected food poisoning.”
At the end of a night shift at the Headroomgate Nursing Home, in St Annes, on March 29 2015, Focsa told a colleague of a patient’s alarmingly-low blood pressure, it was said.
Mr Walters said: “During the course of a handover she informed her colleague Ms Lee she had taken some observations of a patient and her blood level was 76 over 42.
“Ms Lee’s reaction was ‘Oh my god that is low’.
“She wanted to ask why hadn’t the registrant escalated her concerns but the registrant sped through the handover. Later in the morning, 111 was called because the patient didn’t look very well.
“Later Ms Lee needed to give certain residents their morning insulin but when she visited the medication trolley she couldn’t find the green tray where the syringes and epi-pens lived.
“What followed was a search of the home. Eventually that tray was found in a store cupboard in the lounge area of the home.
‘That was unlocked. There was an unsealed needle and some insulin needles with the syringe attached.
‘The location that these needles were left in presented a potential risk to the safety and well-being of residents and members of staff.”
Fosca, who was not present at the hearing, has made no admission of falling asleep on the job, falling to raise concerns over a patient’s blood pressure and leaving unsealed needles in an unsecure location.
Focsa and husband Cosmin were earlier this year each sentenced to 16 weeks’ jail suspended for a year and 200 hours’ unpaid work for the community, with £300 costs and £250 compensation to an 88-year-old dementia patient after they trussed her up in a towel to prevent her moving at night, at another home in St Annes.