Nurse struck off after wrongly recording patient had cancer


A NURSE who wrongly recorded a patient had cancer and brought an insect into an operating theatre has been struck off.

Ellen Agnes Murray, who worked at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, had 22 charges relating to her competence found proved at a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing this week.

The patient had only been told cancer was a possibility, but in February 2008 Ms Murray noted in his records he had the condition.

She brought a silverfish, a small wingless insect, into an operating theatre in order to tell colleagues there was an infestation near the toilets.

A charge she “documented in patient H’s records that he had cancer, although the patient had only been told this was a possibility” was found proved.

The NMC panel said: “The panel considered Mrs Gibb’s evidence that it was reported to her by another staff member that a patient had been told that he ‘may have cancer’ but that Ms Murray documented in his notes that he ‘had cancer’.

“Mrs Gibb said that Ms Murray had contacted the ward once she got home to clarify her entry.”

A part of the charge which said this caused “distress” to the patient was removed, because the charge “alleges an effect on [the patient] which the panel is not required to find proved.

Ms Murray, who was not present at the hearing, admitted the incident in correspondance with the NMC, the panel said.

She also brought an insect from near the toilets into an operating theatre, the panel found.

The panel said: “Ms Murray admits.. that she collected an insect (silverfish) and brought it into the theatre so that it could be identified and senior staff could be informed that there was an infestation near the toilet area.”

The nurse later admitted bringing the insect into the theatre was “inappropriate”.

The nurse was also found to be responsible for a string of record keeping errors.

The panel also heard she contaminated a crate used for surgical instruments on several occaisions, including  “three times in one day”.

Ms Murray admitted a charge of contaminating the crate “on more than one occasion”, saying this was done “accidentally by dropping something.”

The NMC panel, chaired by Sheila Hewitt, said: “For all these reasons the panel has concluded that a Striking-off Order is the only appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case to protect the public, uphold proper standards and public confidence in the profession.”

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