Birmingham nurse admits to working '11 days' in one week

  • Published

A nurse admitted working the equivalent of 11 days in one week, including 30-hour stretches without a break.

Between 2005 and 2012 Aileen Monsanto had full-time jobs at both the BMI Priory Hospital and the Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said it was a "misguided attempt to keep her growing family together".

It added she had "deliberately and dishonestly" failed to notify either of her employers of the situation.

'No sleep'

The legal limit on weekly working hours is 48, but the nurse worked over 75 hours.

The disciplinary panel told Mrs Monsanto: "Your actions, which were deliberate and took place over a seven year period, were very serious, as they had the potential to cause significant harm to the wellbeing of your many patients."

Although no patients were harmed as a result of her exhaustion, Mrs Monsanto acknowledged it was "very dangerous" for nurses to overwork to such an extent.

The panel heard financial demands on Mrs Monsanto's family had caused her to take the second job.

Mrs Monsanto, a band five nurse, admitted to the disciplinary panel sometimes she was on duty having had "no sleep at all."

In 2005, a band five NHS nurse earned between £15,877 and £23,442, by 2012 it had gone up to between £21,167 and £27,625.

It is currently between £21,478 and £27,901.

Mrs Monsanto now works full time at the Priory.

The panel imposed a two-year "conditions of practice" order on Mrs Monsanto, saying she must confine her working practice to her current maximum hours, she must notify the NMC of any other nursing work she took on and inform her employers of the order.

It said the order would be reviewed in two years' time.

Paul Vaughan, director of the Royal College of Nursing in the West Midlands, said many nurses felt exhausted and were "struggling to make ends meet".

"Yet... the government insist they are not worth a tiny pay rise," he said.

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