Nurses under investigation after fatal overdose
Two nurses arrested and charged with a patient’s manslaughter have been suspended by Somerset Partnership Foundation Trust.
Joshua Gaffney, 22, died after receiving an overdose of six bottles of the drug clozapine. He should have been given less than a third of a 15ml bottle but instead had 21 times the prescribed amount of the medication.
It is alleged he ingested the liquid in front of mental health nurses Amanda Young and Petia Gummer before he died at his home in Yeovil, Somerset.
Joshua died from ‘acute clozapine toxicology’ after he was given 84ml rather than the recommended 4ml, according to a post-mortem examination and toxicology report.
The nurses, who work out of Summerlands Hospital in Yeovil, were arrested and charged with Joshua’s manslaughter but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has since dropped the allegation.
The pair are under investigation by the trust and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and have had restrictions placed on them.
“The panel noted that Mrs Gummer denies the allegations,” a report of a condition of practice hearing for the nurse said.
“However, having considered the serious nature of the allegations, which involved a gross inaccuracy in drug administration, the panel considered that there is a real risk of repetition of the alleged behaviour should Mrs Gummer continue to practise without restriction.”
The nurses will discover whether they have a case to answer after the investigations, according to a spokeswoman for the NMC.