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The NMC’s representative invited the panel to impose an order that involved Nurse A’s removal from the register – either suspension or strike-off.
Nurse A’s representative submitted that imposing such a sanction would be disproportionate in light of the level of insight, remorse and remediation Nurse A demonstrated.
The panel considered the aggravating and mitigating features of the case:
- Resident A was a very vulnerable person;
- Evidence that Nurse A placed Resident A at risk of harm;
- Abuse of a position of trust due to Nurse A being the nurse in charge at the time;
- Limited evidence of insight and a risk of repetition;
- A single incident in a career with no other regulatory concerns;
- Positive testimonials from colleagues;
- Evidence of remorse and some remediation.
The panel considered concluded taking no action was inappropriate.
In considering a caution order, the panel considered that the behaviours that led to Nurse A receiving a caution from the police were not at the lower end of the spectrum of impaired fitness to practise. The panel considered a caution order inappropriate and disproportionate in view of the seriousness of the case.
The panel considered whether conditions of practice would be sufficient and appropriate. In declining offers of assistance from colleagues at the home, Nurse A’s attitude at the time of the events displayed a level of arrogance unbefitting a registered nurse. Although Nurse A reflected and undertook relevant training courses, the panel considered that Nurse A’s insight wasn’t sufficiently developed to allow them to practise. Placing conditions on Nurse A’s registration would not adequately address the seriousness of this case.
The panel considered a suspension order. Nurse A made some attempts to reflect upon their actions and remediate their failings. The panel had no evidence that Nurse A had repeated the behaviours that led to them receiving a caution from the police. The panel previously noted that Nurse A had gained some insight and that, although a risk of repetition remained, such a risk was not significant.
The panel considered a striking-off order to be disproportionate. The panel considered it in the public interest to allow a nurse with sufficient insight and remediation to return to unrestricted practice.
The panel determined that a suspension order for six months was appropriate and sufficient.