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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Energy Engineer

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...

Sales Representative, Leicester

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

Sales Representative, Birmingham

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

HR Administration Manager - Hounslow, West London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Administration Manager...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment