Two former Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust nurses who were struck off for altering accident and emergency waiting times are to launch a High Court bid next week to overturn their ban.
Sharon Turner and Tracy White are appealing against the decision of a Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise panel last year which ruled the pair were guilty of misconduct and should be struck-off the nursing register.
The panel concluded both of them were guilty of providing poor care, bullying and being dishonest in the management of the trust’s A&E department and by their actions had brought the nursing profession into serious disrepute.
The case will be heard in the High Court on Tuesday where Nursing Times understands the two nurses will claim they have been victims of media sensationalism and scapegoated by the NMC in the wake of the scandal.
Both Ms Turner and Ms White were working as sisters in Stafford hospital’s A&E department during the time “hundreds” of patients suffered appalling care and were the subject of a complaint by whistleblowing nurse Helene Donnelly who was bullied and threatened as a result.
The NMC panel found Ms Turner, who left the trust in 2009, used foul language about patients and staff and also threatened her colleagues.
It said she inaccurately recorded patient discharge times and instructed staff to transfer patients to wards with “soiled sheets”. She actively encouraged nurses to lie about the discharge times in order for the department to meet A&E waiting time targets.
Ms White refused to help a senior nurse undress an elderly patient, who she called a “naughty little monkey” for refusing to take drugs to treat constipation.
The panel also heard that, in relation to a patient who had attended A&E following a termination of their pregnancy, Ms White said words to the effect of: “She can wait, if you can do that to your baby.”
Between July 2000 and July 2010 she was also accused of inaccurately recording patient discharge times from A&E and ordering colleagues to follow her example.
The NMC panel ruled she ordered staff to move patients to different parts of the hospital before they had been properly assessed and with soiled sheets.
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