A paramedic who delayed an elderly patient's arrival at hospital by taking a detour to pick up her glasses has been suspended for a year, it was revealed today.
Rosalind Dixon was suspended for misconduct by the Health Professions Council after a hearing in London this week.
The hearing heard Dixon, who had been a paramedic since 2000, also took morphine from a hospital without a witness and gave a drug to a 16-year-old against guidelines.
The council's conduct and competence committee heard Dixon and a trainee ambulance technician were called to Rushden, Northamptonshire, in June 2005, where a 70-year-old man was suffering chest pains and a possible heart attack.
The pair arrived at 4.45am but did not leave for Kettering General Hospital until 5.26am, then detoured to Rushden ambulance station for Dixon to pick up her reading glasses.
The committee's report said: "At the start of the journey Mrs Dixon asked both the patient and his wife if they objected to the ambulance stopping at Rushden ambulance station en route to the hospital so that Mrs Dixon could collect her spectacles.
"The patient's wife gave consent."
The report said during the journey Dixon incorrectly allowed her colleague to treat the patient while she drove the ambulance.
She also failed to pre-alert the hospital about the patient, who had suffered a heart attack in 2004 and was later described by a hospital nurse as "clearly critically unwell".
Dixon, who did not attend the hearing, claimed she was away from work from most of September 2004 until June 2005 because of long-term illness and annual leave.
She said she had been refused a back-to-work package and her long absence made her slow and unsure of herself. She also said her colleague was not an effective or suitable crew mate on that day.
The committee said it did not accept Dixon's account that her detour to the ambulance station did not add to journey time.
The hearing also heard Dixon withdrew 10mg of morphine from Kettering General Hospital in August 2005 without a witness, and wrote the name of her crew mate where a witness should sign.
In the same month she administered the drug metoclopramide to a 16-year-old patient, when it should not be given to anyone under 20.
The committee heard Dixon was sacked in April 2006 for gross misconduct and her dismissal was upheld despite an appeal.
It found she contravened guidelines by taking the morphine and administering the metoclopramide.
It said she failed to manage the 70-year-old's treatment, by not organising rapid removal to hospital, allowing a trainee technician to manage his care, failing to pre-alert the hospital and making the detour to collect her glasses.
The committee said it took into account her regret and suspended her for misconduct for a year.Reuse content