A Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise panel has failed to reach a verdict in the case of former Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust chief nurse Janice Harry.
Ms Harry, aged 60 and now retired, faces a string of misconduct allegations related to her role as director of nursing at Mid Staffordshire during the period of serious care failings at the trust.
Despite hearing evidence all week the panel were unable to reach a conclusion on the charges and adjourned the case until October.
It will then consider whether the allegations are proven, whether they amount to misconduct and impairment and whether Ms Harry should be made subject to a sanction or striking off order.
It is the second time the case has been adjourned. Evidence against Ms Harry was first heard in March.
During last week’s hearing Ms Harry distanced herself from problems at the trust and denied having operational responsibility for either the staffing level, or care provided by nurses, on the hospital wards.
She told the NMC panel that problems around short staffing were never raised with her and that controversial plans to reorganise wards and reduce skill mix happened after she left in June 2006.
She said she had “strategic responsibility”, but did not line manage ward nurses, which instead rested with the trust’s separate clinical directorates.
Ms Harry suggested responsibility for staffing and skill mix was also the responsibility of the clinical directorates, adding: “If staffing levels were what they were it was never raised with me.”
Questioned by NMC case presenter William Davis whether she accepted an overall responsibility on the trust board, Ms Harry said: “Nurses are responsible for their own activities and practice.”
Ms Harry joined the trust in 1998 and worked as chief nurse on the board until she left in June 2006.
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