Nurse suspended after investigation

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Blackpool Victoria Hospital

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A former staff nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital has been given a suspension order following a misconduct hearing.

Christopher Dawson, 59, failed to provide adequate care for three patients in August 2013 at the Whinney Heys Road-based hospital.

A hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in Aldwych, London found Mr Dawson was working in Ward 8 when the offences occurred.

A report of the hearing said: “His acts and omissions had the potential to cause harm to patients in his care, although there is no evidence that actual harm was caused.

“The panel finds that Mr Dawson’s actions fell short of the standards expected of a registered nurse.”

The three member NMC panel found Mr Dawson, who did not attend the hearing, had failed to provide adequate care to three patients.

On August 2 and 3, 2013, he failed to document a patient’s asthma attack and hand over the patient’s care correctly to another nurse.

Three days later he failed to sign a patient’s drug chart and ensure drugs given were countersigned by a nurse on two occasions.

The same day he also failed to correctly give a patient a drug to treat a bacterial infection. A ward sister noticed the errors which were traced back to Mr Dawson.

The panel found Mr Dawson had no case to answer on several other charges.

After staff were alerted to the errors, Mr Dawson started revised training while an internal investigation began.

In January last year it was decided a disciplinary hearing should take place.

It was re-arranged twice before Mr Dawson revealed he would retire.

The disciplinary hearing found Mr Dawson guilty of gross misconduct and he was dismissed in March.

In a letter sent to the NMC panel in February, Mr Dawson admitted to some errors, adding: “First of all I must apologise for the mistakes I have made. I do feel that my social/private life at the time caused me to be careless at times.

“With all that was happening and the mistakes I made I decided to take early retirement from the NHS which I did in April 2014. I am now 59 this year and have no inclination to work as a nurse again.

“I am sincerely sorry for the mistakes I have made.”

The panel said Mr Dawson had had an “unblemished” record for close to 30 years.

It also noted he had apologised for his actions.

But the panel’s report added: “The serious nature of misconduct and the real risk of repetition mean that it would not be in the public interest to take no further action.”

A suspension order of nine months, with an interim suspension of 18 months to cover any appeal period, was issued.

If at the end of the appeal period of 28 days, Mr Dawson has not lodged an appeal, the interim order will lapse and be replaced by the suspension order. If Mr Dawson does lodge an appeal, the interim suspension order will continue.

A spokesman from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As soon as we became aware of the matter we informed the NMC and co-operated with their inquiry.”