Glasgow & West Scotland

Patient neglect nurse Linda McDonald struck off register

A nurse who left a patient in a soiled bed overnight and bullied a colleague has been struck off.

Linda McDonald worked as a staff nurse at Ayr Hospital when the incidents occurred between 2007 and 2009.

She was not present at a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel, where all charges against her were found proven.

The disciplinary panel concluded that McDonald's actions of "withholding clinical care, put patients at serious risk of harm".

The hearing in London was told about an incident with "Patient A", who suffered from faecal incontinence.

Patient neglect

The patient was discovered in soiled bed linen by McDonald's colleagues during a shift handover in October 2009.

A staff member told the panel: "During the handover from the night staff, staff nurse McDonald told (us) that (Patient A) had been incontinent of faeces overnight.

The staff member said that McDonald said, in abusive terms, that she had just let him "lie in it".

It emerged that McDonald had not carried out any observations on the patient overnight.

She also told other staff on the night shift to let the patient lie in his soiled bed linen.

The panel heard the staff nurse also "ignored his care needs", and took a three-and-a-half hour break.

The panel also found that in 2007, McDonald insensitively asked a nursing auxiliary at the hospital, named only as Ms Houston, if everyone she knew was dying.

Ms Houston told the panel in a witness statement: "In 2007, two of my close family members died in the space of three weeks.

"When I asked staff nurse McDonald for time off for bereavement leave her response was "Is everyone you know dying?"'.

Overpaid claim

McDonald also told a lie about Ms Houston's wages which left the nursing auxiliary in tears.

Ms Houston told the panel: "Staff nurse McDonald said that I had been overpaid by £3,000 and I had two weeks in which to pay it back.

"I phoned the wages department once staff nurse McDonald had left the ward and they knew nothing about it.

"Staff nurse McDonald then told me it had been my mistake, a misunderstanding on my part.

"I just left her office and left it there, but being told this made me ill and I was unable to stop crying for a period of time afterwards."

Announcing its decision to strike the nurse off, the panel said: "These basic errors, and in one instance the withholding of clinical care, put patients at serious risk of harm.

"There is also an element of bullying in this case, in that Mrs McDonald did not treat her colleagues with the respect that they deserved."

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