A NURSE has been suspended after she left the medication trolley unattended in a treatment room of Ayr’s Ailsa Hospital

Agnes Thompson, was working as a registered Mental Health Nurse on Dunure Ward in Ward 15 which is a bedded Acute Admission Organic Assessment Unit for Elderly Mental Health.

On October 16, 2015, Mrs Thompson was on duty on the day shift with another Staff Nurse, and a Nursing Assistant. There were six patients on the ward at that time.

A hearing took place last month before the Nursing and Midwifery Council on George Street, Edinburgh. Mrs Thomson did not attend.

The panel heard that Mrs Thompson assumed the role as the Nurse in Charge because she had been qualified longer than the other nurse on duty that day. 

Mrs Thompson was responsible for delegating duties. She carried out the evening medication round at 6pm. 

Mrs Thompson left the treatment room and medication trolley kept therein unlocked and / or unattended. 

As a result, a patient was able to enter the treatment room and remove a box of paracetamol from the medication trolley. 

The panel heard that the medication trolley was normally kept locked and chained to the wall inside the locked treatment room when not in use.

Mrs Thompson and the other nurse entered the treatment room while the patient was present and the paracetamol was removed and returned to the medication trolley which was subsequently locked.

On discovering that her patient had accessed medication, Mrs Thompson failed in her duty to complete a Datix form, make an entry in Patient’s

FACE records; and handover the incident to the nightshift staff.
The panel heard that Patient A did not appear to have suffered any ill effects as a result of the incident.

Mr Segovia of the NMC made a submission that Mrs Thompson’s actions, when taken in the round, fell short of the standards expected of a registered nurse. 

He was recorded saying: “Given that this was a potentially serious incident which constituted a near miss; Mrs Thompson had acted so as to put Patient A at risk of harm.”

Having found that Mrs Thompson’s acts and omissions amounted to misconduct, the panel decided as a result of that misconduct, her fitness to practise is impaired.

Mrs Thomson is on a suspension order for six months and an interim suspension order for 18 months.