North West Wales

Marie Sloan cleared of locking worker at nuns' retreat in room with body

Marie Sloan Image copyright Athena Picture Agency
Image caption Marie Sloan spent four years working at the retreat

A care manager at a religious retreat for nuns has been cleared of locking a worker in a room with a dead body.

But the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found three other charges against Marie Sloan proved at a hearing.

The 57-year-old failed to manage medication appropriately, did not provide appropriate management or conduct herself appropriately at the Sisters of Loreto retreat in Llandudno.

The panel will decide if her fitness to practice has been impaired.

Ms Sloan was accused of "a catalogue of misconduct" during her four years at the retreat before she was sacked in 2012.

She faced four charges, containing 15 allegations, at the fitness to practice hearing in Cardiff.

The facility, a former boarding school, is now described as a "spiritual retreat" and offers residential places for up to 20 nuns.

A care manager's position was created in 2008 and given to Ms Sloan, who was the only qualified nurse there.

The fitness to practice panel heard about the sudden collapse of a patient in the dining room.

It was claimed the door was locked "for quite a long time" despite a cleaner being in the room.

But the panel rejected these claims.

'No respect'

It did however agree with other allegations about Ms Sloan's performance during the four-day hearing in Cardiff, which she has not attended.

It was told that concerns about her capability amid claims about the chaotic way she carried out her duties prompted auditors to carry out an inspection in 2012.

Housekeeper Lucie Watson said Ms Sloan "had no respect for the sisters at all" and that they were "totally neglected".

"Marie regularly swore and used to call the sisters witches. They were far from that," she said.

"Considering Marie was a religious person she wasn't a very good Christian."

Mrs Watson added: "If a member of staff wanted to talk to her in confidence she would open her mouth to the next person and it would be around the home."

The hearing was also told Ms Sloan said she was going to take a patient's drugs to South Africa for her brother-in-law who had the same condition.

A staff member warned her against it, saying it was "drug smuggling" and she "might get caught".

But when retreat bosses questioned her about the remarks, Ms Sloan claimed that she had only been joking but appeared agitated when the matter was brought up during a disciplinary hearing.

As well as claims of failing to manage medication properly, Ms Sloan was accused of failing to provide "appropriate management".

The panel was also told Ms Sloan failed to respond to concerns about a member of staff "attending work under the influence of alcohol" as well as staff "threatening violence towards another" and allowed a patient to light candles in her room beneath a wooden shelf.

The panel agreed with these claims and found the charges proved.

It is expected to decide later if her fitness to practice is impaired and if so, what punishment to give.

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