Stafford Hospital former chief nurse Janice Harry found guilty of misconduct


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Indy Lifestyle Online

A former chief nurse at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has been found guilty of misconduct.

Janice Harry's fitness to practise is "currently impaired", a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel ruled.

Yesterday the disciplinary panel concluded that Mrs Harry had exposed patients to danger during her time at the hospital.

By not ensuring that there were adequate nursing staff on a number of wards, Mrs Harry put patients at risk, the panel ruled.

Between 1998 and 2006, Mrs Harry failed to ensure there were adequate numbers of nurses working in the accident and emergency department, the emergency admission unit (EAU) and another ward, they said.

Mrs Harry was criticised for not ensuring that her colleagues provided patient dignity and privacy in the EAU between 2004 and 2006.

The nurse also failed to ensure there was appropriate food and drink in the unit, the panel concluded.

She will also be reprimanded for using inappropriate language towards a colleague after telling her that she was a "waste of space".

Mrs Harry was employed by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and its predecessor Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust from 1998 to 2006. From 1998, she was director of nursing and quality assurance at Stafford Hospital and in 2002 was appointed director of clinical standards and chief nurse as well as director of infection prevention and control.

The panel will now decide what sanctions to impose on the nurse.

Stafford Hospital was at the centre of a major public inquiry after it was found that poor care could have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect.

The inquiry highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" at the trust and investigations into the scandal revealed that many patients were left lying in their own urine and excrement for days, forced to drink water from vases or given the wrong medication.