Nurse suspended for watching golf on duty

Nigel Steel given 12-month suspension for watching Open Championship on his work computer

A nurse at York Hospital has been suspended for 12 months after being caught watching golf on his computer while on duty.

Nigel Steel put critically ill patients at risk while he watched the Open Championship, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard at a tribunal.

Mr Steel was also accused of having told a patient to soil themselves, of failing to properly record his interactions with a patient and of not providing adequate handover notes for patient care.

The council ruled that Mr Steel had “breached fundamental principles and standards” with his actions.

Ria Dean, a nurse who worked with Mr Steel, gave evidence at the tribunal stating that she saw Mr Steel watching golf in July 2012 when he should have been caring for patients, while he also failed to provide critical details about a terminally ill patient to another nurse, Hazel Cahill, the York Press reported.

Mr Steel, who was not present at the London tribunal, claimed he watched the golf for only 10 to 15 seconds at a time, but the tribunal heard that he stood and watched the golf for up to 10 minutes at a time.

He was found guilty on all allegations and the panel ruled his actions “had the potential to put patients at risk of harm”.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council said the suspension would cause hardship to Mr Steel but that his punishment was “appropriate and proportionate”.

Mr Steel worked for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust for seven years from 2005.