Nottingham

Hospital staff 'forced to mime' to Italian nurse

King's Mill Hospital Image copyright Google
Image caption Antonella Indrizzi worked as a healthcare assistant at King's Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield

An Italian nurse whose English was so bad a colleague had to point and mime to show her what to do has been struck off the nursing register.

Numerous patients refused to have Antonella Indrizzi look after them due to her "extremely poor" language skills, a committee heard.

She worked as a healthcare assistant at King's Mill Hospital in Nottinghamshire but was a registered nurse.

The hospital said as an EU national she did not need to take a language test.

Julie Bacon, director of HR and OD for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: "Antonella Indrizzi was recruited from Italy and worked for the trust for nine months during 2015 as a healthcare support worker, not as a registered nurse .

"All the usual employment checks were undertaken before she took up her post. She received regular supervision and dedicated support. However, we ultimately referred this case to the Nursing and Midwifery Council."

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption A ward leader said Antonella Indrizzi told one upset patient to "be quiet" because she was unable to find the words to reassure her

Ms Indrizzi's case went before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) conduct and competence committee, which found that her fitness to practise as a nurse was "impaired".

"The panel has concluded that her lack of knowledge is such that she has in the past put patients at unwarranted risk of harm," the committee said, adding that "a striking-off order is the only appropriate order that would be sufficient to protect the public interest."

Ms Indrizzi was employed by the Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 16 February 2015 following an overseas recruitment campaign in Italy.

One colleague told the committee that Ms Indrizzi would look at her like she did not understand what she saying.

It led to the colleague having to point with her hands and mime, while explaining verbally.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Antonella Indrizzi was employed following an overseas recruitment campaign in Italy

Ms Indrizzi also misinterpreted medical terms on the ward where she worked and did not communicate effectively with patients.

She told one upset patient to "be quiet" because she was unable to find the words to reassure her, a ward leader said.

In May 2016 she was directed by an NMC registrar to undertake an English language assessment, but failed to do so.

The committee panel said she had been given chances to improve her English but did not take any steps towards this.

"As a consequence, the panel cannot be satisfied that her knowledge of English has reached or will reach the necessary standard," the panel said.

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