Bristol

Southmead nurse cautioned over man with autism's death

Nicholas Jones Image copyright Sue Jones
Image caption Nicholas Jones had been diagnosed with autism at the age of three and also suffered from epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis

A senior nurse failed to check on a vulnerable man with autism for five hours who died amid "gross failings", a professional hearing has found.

Rogel Bolivar admitted not providing hourly observations on Nicholas Jones, 27, when he was a patient at Southmead Hospital in Bristol in December 2014.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) fitness to practice committee has given Mr Bolivar a 12-month caution.

The ruling will allow him to remain in his job.

Gross failings

Mr Bolivar was reported to the NMC by Avon assistant coroner Dr Peter Harrowing following an inquest in 2017.

It heard Mr Jones's mother Sue found him inattentive with breathing difficulties and had to perform CPR in a desperate bid to save him.

Her son, from Corsham, Wiltshire, had learning difficulties and epilepsy. He had fallen ill following surgery for a benign tumour in his kidney.

Image copyright Sue Jones
Image caption Sue and David Jones "voiced grave concerns" about their son's care

About a week later, Mrs Jones could not wake him up during a visit and, despite efforts by her and staff to revive him, he died from a cardiac arrest.

At the inquest, Dr Harrowing said Mr Bolivar had failed to act with the "necessary honesty and integrity as required of a registered nurse" and said gross failings by the hospital, run by North Bristol NHS Trust, contributed to the death.

The NMC panel ruled his fitness to practice is impaired because of misconduct but after hearing he had an otherwise blemish-free professional record during a 16-year nursing career, the panel issued him with a caution order.

Mr Bolivar was described by colleagues at the hearing as "caring", "competent", "professional" and "knowledgeable".

The caution order means that for the next year any prospective employer will be on notice that Mr Bolivar's fitness to practise has been found to be impaired.

A spokesperson for North Bristol NHS Trust said Rogel Bolivar no longer works for them.

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