The agency nurse that accidentally switched off a patient’s life support machine will not face criminal charges.
Violeta Aylward, 55, was caught on film turning off tetraplegic Jamie Merrett’s ventilator by mistake in January 2009. She is currently suspended, pending an investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
However, she will not face criminal charges of grievous bodily harm after the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to act on a police report.
A statement from Wiltshire Police said: “We had a report on it and our vulnerable adult unit investigated. We sent a file to the CPS for consideration, and they said they would take no further action.”
Yesterday, the Patients Association reacted angrily to the case, describing it as an “appalling lapse in care” and questioning why lessons from previous cases had not been learnt.
Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy said: “Though the individual circumstances might differ, the failings are the same. The NHS has been warned repeatedly about ensuring the staff it hires, agency or otherwise, are suitably trained to look after their patients.
“Who will be held to account for this? Or will managers walk away unscathed yet again, even though a life has been ruined?”