Stafford Hospital nurse who treated twins who died from overdose avoids suspension

 

A nurse who helped treat twins who died from a huge overdose of morphine at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has been allowed to keep working.

Joanne Thompson admitted a series of charges before a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise hearing in London this week.

But the panel today ruled her fitness to practise "was not impaired".

An inquest into the deaths of the twins, Alfie and Harry McQuillan, who died on November 1 2010, heard that they were given an "excessive" dose of morphine hours after their birth at Stafford Hospital.

The babies were born at 27 weeks.

The panel heard that the brothers, referred to in the proceedings as twin one and twin two, received 600 and 850 microgrammes of morphine respectively.

They should have been given between 50 and 100 microgrammes.

Mrs Thompson, a senior staff nurse in the hospital's special care baby unit, was accused of allowing a more junior nurse, Lisa Lucas, prepare for the administration and/or administer the drug to the twins with the help of a junior doctor whom she should have known was insufficiently experienced.

The NMC panel found this claim was not proved.

The nurse admitted not being present throughout the whole morphine administration process, that she did not check it was properly diluted, and she did not call for medical help to check the administration.

Mrs Thompson denied a series of charges including failing to take the clinical lead of nursing care when required in relation to the administration of the morphine to the babies.

Mrs Thompson broke down in tears as the aftermath of what happened was discussed.

The nurse's "main concern" had been to save the lives of the twins, the panel, led by chairman, Graham Park, said.

In its written ruling, the panel congratulated Mrs Thompson on being a "highly competent nurse".

It said: "In the panel's judgment its finding of no misconduct in these particular circumstances, would not undermine the public confidence in the nursing profession and the standards expected of nurses.

"The panel was impressed by the numerous and consistently very positive references and testimonials provided by your employers and professional colleagues, including the Trust's lead consultant paediatrician, the director of nursing and midwifery and a junior member of staff who works under your supervision.

"It is abundantly clear that all those individuals have a high level of confidence in your professional skills, knowledge, and good character.

"There is no evidence to suggest that your current standard of practise presents any risk to the public, and in particular to patients.

"Rather the evidence shows that you are a highly competent nurse of considerable experience, capable of maintaining proper standards of nursing care, conduct and performance."

Last month's publication of the Francis inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital showed there were up to 1,200 excess deaths between 2005 and 2009.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Business Development Manager / Sales

£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Guru Careers: Solutions Consultant

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Solutions Consultan...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before