Former Blackpool hospital nurse to be struck off after "very serious" catalogue of errors

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He “has not demonstrated that he is capable of kind, safe and effective practice as a nurse”.

A former hospital nurse who didn’t respond ‘in a timely way’ to a choking patient will soon be struck off.

Thomas Richard Price, who is now thought to live in Gibraltar, had his professional fate decided earlier this month by a panel from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

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Mr Price did not attend the hearing, which found that at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital:

- On the night shift of August 9/10 2019, he did not respond in a timely way to a choking patient and “demonstrated inadequate knowledge of making up 10mg morphine in 1ml of solution.”

- On a night shift on or around September 19, 2019, he left medication unattended in the presence of a patient; signed for the administration of IV antibiotics to a patient which he had made up but not yet administered and had made up without a second nurse present to check.

- On the night shift of September 20/21, 2019, he did not carry out observations, or did not record on the patient records that he had carried out observations, for one or more patients. On the same shift it was also proved that he didn’t complete all admissions paperwork for patients, did not accurately record the extent of a patient’s pressure sores, or make adequate referrals. Also, at the Royal Marsden Hospital in February 2019, it was proved that he did not ensure certain blood tests were taken and incorrectly recorded a patient’s analgesia administration four times.

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At Medway Hospital in October 2019, it was proved that he signed for the administration of IV medication to a patient who had not been cannulated and administered IV potassium to a patient without setting up a pump or connecting a cardiac monitor.

Blackpool Victoria Hospital Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital | UGC

What the panel said

The panel said it “could not be satisfied that Mr Price had demonstrated full insight” and had not been given any evidence of developed insight or training undertaken by Mr Price. A report stated the panel “did not have any information before it to determine that, since the original hearing, Mr Price has taken responsibility for his failures or developed any understanding of why what he did was wrong and how this could have impacted negatively on his patients and on the reputation of the nursing profession.”

Mr Price stated in an email to the NMC dated December 2022 that he no longer wished to practise as a registered nurse. But then he has also stated that he would consider a return to practice in healthcare. The panel could not be sure he no longer wished to practise as a nurse, nor did it have a clear explanation from him as to his future intentions.

Sanction

The panel found that Mr Price “has not demonstrated that he is capable of kind, safe and effective practice as a nurse” and believe there is a continuing risk of repetition of the misconduct and a consequent risk of harm to patients if he were permitted to practise as a registered nurse without restriction.

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They believed that a period of suspension would not serve any useful purpose and that his disengagement and failure to demonstrate safe practice and insight into serious misconduct was “fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the NMC Register”. The panel therefore determined that it was necessary to take action to prevent Mr Price from practising in the future and concluded that the only sanction that would adequately protect the public and serve the public interest was a striking-off order.

This will take effect upon the expiry of the current conditions of practice order on April 29, 2024.

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