A care home nurse has been struck off after a 72-year-old dementia sufferer was found lying in the garden suffering from hypothermia.
The pensioner was seen on CCTV walking out of Mapleford Nursing Home in Huncoat through and unlocked and unalarmed door at 1.30am, in cold, wet and sleety conditions, but wasn’t found until 6am by a care assistant.
He was wearing only his pyjamas and socks and had to be treated in hospital for pneumonia for nine days.
Paula Jean Gilbert, who was the registered nurse in charge of the Bolton Avenue care home on the night of the incident, has now been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after admitting six misconduct offences.
A conduct and competency committee hearing was told how Gilbert, who had worked at the home since 2012, had taken eight smoking breaks during her 12-hour shift - including one 40 minutes after the pensioner had been found.
Earlier in evening the same man, who suffers from Korsakoff dementia, was found lying on the floor in the smoking room after suffering a fall.
The hearing was told how Gilbert did not carry out any ‘enhanced monitoring or checks’ of the man during the rest of her shift or ask a colleague to do so.
She also did not complete an accident report for the fall until the next day - around 24 hours after the incident happened.
The hearing was told that Gilbert had failed to take the pensioner’s vital signs to help paramedics, pass on sufficient information of his condition to a colleague and didn’t carry out adequate regular checks on all residents.
When challenged by care home bosses about smoking outside, Gilbert said: “I was not outside smoking. I have not been smoking. I have had a chest infection.”
However, when told she had been seen on CCTV she replied: “If it is on CCTV I have no excuses”.
John Weeden, chair of the NMC misconduct panel, said Gilbert had ‘demonstrated numerous failings in the standard of care’ to vulnerable and elderly patients and ‘placed all residents at the home at risk of harm’.
He said: “This is not a single instance of misconduct but rather a case of multiple failures in relation to security checks, patient safety, and supervision, staffing levels, record keeping and dishonesty.”