A nurse who slept on chairs when she should have been looking after the elderly has been struck off.
Ana Lakme Focsa was caught snoozing after a fellow carer at St George’s Nursing Home, in Marine Drive, Fairhaven, tipped off matrons who paid a surprise 2.30am visit and sacked her on the spot.
A medical tribunal also heard how, in a later incident at Headroomgate Nursing Home, in Oxford Road, St Annes, Focsa failed to properly act after spotting a pensioner with low blood pressure.
Focsa failed to attend the hearing, which found all allegations against her proven.
She claimed in written statements she had food poisoning when she fell asleep, and had followed guidance in relation to the resident with low blood pressure.
But the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)’s Conduct and Competence Committee found her evidence to be ‘contradictory and unreliable’, and decided to strike her off the register.
Mrs Focsa’s misconduct was compounded by her total lack of insight, relevant remorse, remediation and her overall attitude
Focsa was made subject to an interim 18-month suspension order in case she wants to appeal the outright ban.
“Mrs Focsa’s misconduct was compounded by her total lack of insight, relevant remorse, remediation and her overall attitude,” hearing documents read.
“The panel concluded that a striking off order was the only sanction that would adequately protect the public and uphold public confidence in the profession and the NMC as its regulator.”
The hearing, held in September and last month, heard how the nurse was working overnight at St George’s on August 11, 2013, alongside two carers.
The home’s matron and a matron from a nearby nursing home arrived unannounced at 2.20am, it was told, where they found one of the carers sleeping on cushions and a pillow on the floor of the lounge.
They checked residents in the 30-bed home before later spotting Focsa sleeping on two chairs under a blanket.
The matrons woke her and asked her to leave immediately and, because she was self-employed, not to return.
While investigating the incident, the NMC said it received a second referral.
The panel heard Focsa was working at Headroomgate during a nightshift on March 28/29 last year, when she found a resident had low blood pressure.
But she did not check it every 15 minutes, did not start a blood pressure chart or fluid intake chart and also left an unsealed needle in an unsecured sideboard, the panel ruled.
She also failed to escalate her concern or call the GP, 111, or a manager, it said. At 8am, the day nurse expressed concerns about 19 residents, including the one with low blood pressure, and Focsa was suspended and later dismissed.
Jeremy Heney, managing director at Century Healthcare, which runs St George’s, said his staff acted on concerns about Focsa and sacked her on the spot after finding her asleep.
He added: “We reported the incident to the NMC and if it was not for us, she would still be working.
“I believe very strongly that if you have done something that is gross misconduct you should be reported to the professional body and that’s what we did.
“The disappointment for me is that she went on to work somewhere else.”
Cathryn Lee, mental health nurse at Headroomgate, added: “We are very pleased at the [hearing’s] outcome as we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour.”