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NMC strikes off nurse for being drunk while administering injections

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A nurse who administered injections while he was under the influence of alcohol has been struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

In 2003, Steven Richardson gave a patient injections in two areas but did not change the needle in between. He also faced charges of speaking to a colleague inappropriately in front of the patient.

NMC spokesperson Kristy Hempel said: ‘Steven Richardson’s behaviour was fundamentally incompatible with being a registered nurse. The panel concluded that Richardson failed to uphold the good standing of the profession and that his actions departed from the NMC’s code of professional conduct.’

She said that Mr Richardson could have compromised the health of the patient and that there was a danger of cross infection and possible pain.

The panel heard evidence from Mr Richardson’s former colleagues from the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust.

They said they observed him stumble and heard him slurring his words. The night nurse co-ordinator told Mr Richardson to take a breath test which indicated that he had 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Martin Gray

    Why has it taken 6 YEARS for this to happen? Was the nurse contnuing to practice during the investigations and did his employer sack him at the time of the breath test? This doesn't look good for the Fitness to Practice committee or the NMC in general.

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  • Sounds like stress and mental health problems got to him. Perhaps depression. My friend's mentor was suspended for coming in drunk for the morning shift.

    I don't condone this behaviour but the way nurses are treated by organisations, colleagues, the media and the public doesn't really set one up for high levels of self-esteem.

    I feel bad for the patients he treated. But I also feel for the nurse involved. I doubt he is a bad person, just trying to find something to help him cope. Perhaps he should have gone to his line manager about time off instead but maybe did not feel able.

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