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Nurse abandoned care home because of sore head, hearing is told

By Amanda Macmillan

A NURSE left a care home for the elderly without proper medical cover because he had a sore head, a disciplinary hearing was told today (Wed).

Uladzimir Barysiuk is also accused of leaving the keys to the medicine store at the Helensburgh home where they could have been found by patients or visitors.

He is also alleged to have broken strict rules requiring him to hand over to another registered nurse.

The nurse’s actions are alleged to have put staff and patients in danger because Mr Barysiuk would have been in charge in the case of a fire and was the only person who could make clinical decisions and hand out controlled drugs.

Mr Barysuik faces the charges at a hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which started today in Edinburgh (Wed).

The incident allegedly happened at the Balvaird Care Home, which accommodates up to 40 patients.

The home is owned by Southern Cross, Britain’s biggest care home provider, which collapsed earlier this year.

The hearing was told that on 27 July 2009, Barysiuk left the care home at around 8.05pm despite the next nurse not starting until 9pm.

It is also alleged that he did not contact the care home’s on-duty manager to arrange cover and he did not perform a handover to the nurse in charge or hand the medication keys to the nurse in charge.

Gillian Marshall, care home manager, told the hearing it is normal practice for a registered nurse to be in the home at all times.

Mrs Marshall said the normal working hours of a nurse on day shift would be 8am until 8pm and the hours of a nurse on nightshift would be 8pm until 8am.

But she said that Doreen Bain, who was the nurse scheduled to relieve Mr Barysuik that, worked on an older contact and was not due to start until 9pm.

She added: “There must always be a registered nurse on duty and he had to stay until she arrived for her shift at 9pm.

“This situation had been encountered many times by Mr Barysiuk and Mrs Bain.”

Mrs Marshall said she was told after the event by Mr Barysuik that he left because he had a  “severe headache”. He claimed to have been told his replacement was in the building and that he was not aware of the need to stay.

She added: “When he was asked why he did not look for her (Mrs Bain) he said that he ‘thought she was in the building and that he had a headache’.”

She said that she asked him if he needed to leave why he did not make contact with her or the deputy manager which is normal procedure and she said that he “admitted in retrospect that he should have done so but he did not take full blame”.

Mrs Marshall said that the keys for the home’s medication were left in an unlocked drawer at the reception of the home and patients or visitors could have easily found them.

She also said that the main worry with not having a registered nurse on the premises was in case of a fire.

She said: “He has to make the decision has to who is evacuated where and when an in which order”.

She added: “I can admit that maybe he had some confusion with a Monday night because it’s not a night that he usually works.”

The hearing continues.

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