Former nurse at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital admits twice recording dead patient as 'asleep'


A nurse has admitted twice recording a deceased patient as ‘asleep’ in the opening of a hearing into the conduct of two staff nurses at scandal-ridden Mid Staffordshire Hospital.

Evelyn Agbeko was the nurse in charge of the gastroenterology ward during the night-shift of 16 April 2010, a fitness-to-practise panel at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NCM) heard.

At 9.25am an 81-year-old woman on dialysis, referred to as Patient A, was admitted to A&E complaining of shortness of breath.

Agbeko and staff nurse Theresia Van Der Knaap, who was also working on the ward that night, stand accused of a range of charges including failing to log any observations for Patient A in the 12 hours before her death.

Having found Patient A unresponsive, Van Der Knaap admitted failing to press the emergency alarm, alert the resuscitation team or start basic life support, as is standard procedure.

Just one nurse has been struck off since the beginning of an investigation into the troubled hospital by the Healthcare Commission as a result of “apparently high mortality rates in patients admitted as emergencies”.

56 referrals have been made relating either to misconduct or health cases since the publication of the first Francis report in February 2010.

In a separate hearing the hospital’s Chief Nurse, Janice Harry, denied a litany of offences between 1998 and 2006, including calling a member of staff a “waste of space”, and telling another “don’t bring me problems, bring the answer” and  failing to ensuring adequate nursing services were provided at Mid-Staffordshire.

At the opening trial of Agbeko and Van Der Knaap, the NMC heard that three witnesses would testify to the “appalling” events surrounding the death of an elderly woman who developed severe bilateral bronchial pneumonia with elements of left ventricular failure at around 2.30am.

In her witness statement, healthcare support worker Samantha Adams who had been moved to Ward 11 from another part of the hospital due to staff shortages that night, said she completed checks on behalf of other nurses that night, and confirms that despite protocol there was no modified early warning score [MEWS] issued, which helps medical staff quickly determine the degree of illness of a patient.

The NCM heard that Adams was “shocked” to learn from Theresia Van Der Knaap at around 3am that Patient A had died and no call had been made for a resuscitation team nor had the emergency alarm button activated.

Adams also claims she told the nurse to make a “2222” internal emergency call, but was told the woman was already dead.

The panel was also informed that Agbeko had been caught up in the “stress and confusion” of the situation when she marked the patient as A for ‘asleep’ an hour later, at 4am, and again at 6am.

Van Der Knaap, who was not present at the trial, admits failing to ‘escalate Patient A to a MEWS chart’ and a separate charge of failing to raise the alarm upon finding the patient dead.

Agbeko admitted twice marking the deceased patient as asleep in her medical notes but denies failing to carry out adequate observations or making adequate entries in Patient A’s medical notes.

Both deny their fitness to practise was impaired by reason of their misconduct.

The hearing continues.

Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
Arts and Entertainment
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: HVAC Project Manager

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful candidate will b...

    Recruitment Genius: Key Accounts Administrator - Fixed Term

    £13500 - £14500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting new opportunity has...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - Business Services-£70,000 OTE

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + OTE £70,000 + car + pension: h2 Recruit Ltd: A wel...

    Recruitment Genius: Service Receptionist / Warranty Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent Motor...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game