Nurse struck off for not investigating abuse allegations
A nursing manager who failed to investigate abuse allegations at a Northern Ireland nursing home has been struck off.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) disciplinary proceedings on 20 February also found the nurse, Katherine McCall, guilty of bringing the nursing profession into disrepute.
Ms McCall, who worked at Cherry Tree House nursing home in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, between 2007 and 2011, did not appear at the disciplinary hearing in Belfast.
In a different case last year, a whistleblower told the BBC that she had first made claims of patient neglect at Cherry Tree House in 2005.
This week’s hearing was told that Ms McCall, as the home’s nursing manager, was asked to investigate allegations of abuse by an employee against eight residents in 2010-2011.
The NMC discovered evidence that Ms McCall had not properly investigated five of those incidents.
Cherry Tree House’s present manager Elizabeth Hewitt, in a statement on behalf of the home, said it was “a sad day for the nursing profession”.
Ms Hewitt said that in 2010, the home’s owner had reported Ms McCall to the NMC because she did not properly investigate a complaint about a care assistant.
At that time, a new manager was installed at the home and the care assistant, against whom the claims of speaking inappropriately to patients were made, was no longer working there.
The new manager dealt with the worries and provided adequate reassurance to residents and their families, she said.
Ms Hewitt repeated the home’s apologies to any residents who were involved and for any distress they may have endured while in its care then.
Last November, Northern Ireland health minister Edwin Poots told the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) health watchdog to undertake a review of Cherry Tree House nursing home.
This followed a BBC report that a whistleblower had initially forwarded claims of patient neglect and poor practice at the home in 2005. These allegations are unrelated to Ms McCall’s disciplinary case.
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