Nurse struck off after failing to visit children in horrific conditions


A NURSE who failed to check on two children living in such horrific conditions they had to be taken in to care has been struck off.

Elaine Wilson, a public health nurse who was supposed to visit high-risk families and assess their needs, failed to report children who were unclean and malnourished.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was told a colleague visited one of the families and discovered two young children with matted hair and grey faces living among wet nappies.

But Ms Wilson had reported the children, from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, were “well fed and disciplined”.



The nurse, who admitted all charges against her, was told she had brought the profession into disrepute.

The NMC panel said children were harmed as a result of her failures.

Ms Wilson, who was based at a health centre in Coatbridge, admitted more than 30 charges of failing to make visits, misjudging the level of support required for vulnerable children and poor record keeping in relation to five families.

In the worst case, referred to only as “Family A”, she failed to raise concerns about the filthy home two siblings were living in.

Announcing its decision, the NMC panel said: “As a Public Health Nurse, Ms Wilson’s primary duty was to identify the unmet needs of potentially vulnerable families, formulate appropriate care plans and make the appropriate referrals to other agencies if necessary.

“In failing to do so, on numerous occasions, over a protracted period, Ms Wilson placed her clients at risk thereby undermining public confidence in the profession.

“The panel is aware that some of the children were harmed because of Ms Wilson’s failures and poor performance coupled with poor judgment.

“The public rightly expects Public Health Nurses to protect vulnerable children and ensure their safety Ms Wilson patently failed to do so.”


It continued: “[The panel] noted that Ms Wilson had not provided any mitigation or explanation that would enable the panel to conclude that similar incidents would not be repeated.”

The NMC panel said Ms Wilson had “actively disengaged” from the proceedings and no longer wished to practice as a nurse.

It added: “The panel is of the view that the misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register.

“There is evidence of deep-seated personality or attitudinal problems.”

Despite being given the case in April 2007, she first visited the Family A in January 2009, and even then did not escalate concerns about a child’s “small/thin appearance”.

She had been a nurse since 1993 and a health visitor for eight years.


According to the nurse’s line manager, Maureen Gray, the two siblings were living in a dirty and unsafe environment and had to be immediately taken into care.

The family’s appalling conditions were only discovered when Mrs Gray paid an unplanned visit to the home in August 2009.

Mrs Gray told the hearing: “There were wet nappies, clothes and scraps of food lying all over the floor.

“Child one had a sodden nappy and both children appeared to be dirty and grey with matted hair.

“Child one was complaining that he was thirsty…I asked Mr A to get the child something to drink and he passed child one a cup of warm sour milk.


“There was no bed available for child one and the cot for child two was full of dirty laundry and used food and drinks cartons.

“The one bed in the home had no bed sheets and only one dirty duvet.”

She added: “Child one and child two could not remain in the house.”

Mrs Gray described Ms Wilson’s conduct as “wholly inadequate”.

Ms Wilson was not present and not represented at the hearing.