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Care home nurses struck off after 'neglect led to patient deaths'

  • 11 Comments

Three nurses have been struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council register for poor care which in some cases led to patient deaths at a nursing home in south Wales.

After an 81-day hearing, an NMC panel found that failings by a total of five nurses at the Brithdir Nursing Home in Caerphilly amounted to misconduct.

Nurses Tembakazi Moyana, Daphne Richards and Rachel Tanta were struck off on Friday.

Susan Greening received a caution order and Beverley Mock was suspended for one year.

The NMC panel cleared one nurse, Rachel Pritchard, of all charges relating to misconduct.

In May, a disciplinary panel found 86 failings proven out of an alleged 150 against the six nurses in relation to nine residents between 2004 and 2006.

“[Miss Moyana’s conduct] revealed a profoundly disturbing attitude of indifference to the unnecessary suffering resulting from her neglect”

NMC panel

Amongst other charges they related to poor management of patients’ pressure sores and record keeping.

In the case of Miss Moyana, the panel found that her care led directly to the deaths of two patients and contributed to the deaths of two others while Mrs Tanta’s care also contributed to the deaths of two patients.

The panel found Miss Moyana’s conduct “revealed a profoundly disturbing attitude of indifference to the unnecessary suffering resulting from her neglect”.

It also concluded Mrs Tanta’s conduct “involved a wide-ranging pattern of neglect which persisted over a period of more than three weeks.”

When asked by Nursing Times if the the police had been notified about the care failings that contributed to deaths, an NMC spokesman said the regulator had a memorandum of understanding to share relevant information with the police to ensure public and patient safety, but was unable to comment on individual cases.

The sanctions came after the NMC panel found seven misconduct charges proved against Christine Hayes, the director of nursing at the Caerphilly Local Health Board between 2003 and 2006.

It found that Ms Hayes continued to allow new residents to move into the home, despite being aware of ongoing concerns about the organisation’s standard of care, following adverse reports by the national inspector and multi-agency investigations over a period of years.

Concerns about Brithdir Nursing Home were raised during Operation Jasmine, an investigation by Gwent Police into allegations of neglect in south Wales care homes.

The £11.6 million police inquiry collapsed when former Brithdir Nursing Home owner, Dr Prana Das, was declared unfit to stand trial due to brain damage he suffered in a violent burglary.

Brithdir Nursing Home closed in 2006 but has now reopened under new management.

  • 11 Comments

Readers' comments (11)

  • The right outcome, but why does the process take so long?

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  • michael stone

    Indeed, what strikes you is that this was between 2004 and 2006 - 'historical' in terms of 'freshness of any evidence' !

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  • Hm, and the people struck off now were able to still practice until recently? At least that is what the article implies.

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  • Fully agree with first 2 comments.

    I believe nurses get suspended pending enquiry.

    The Nursing Director who continued to send service users to the home even though she knew that they were substandard only lost her job. She should also have been struck off. See Linked articles 20 Jan 2015.

    The owner and another have not been prosecuted, despite a police investigation costing millions, because the owner was subjected to a violent burglary leaving him brain damaged and unfit to be tried. That might be awfully convenient for the nursing authority…. 2 burglars with a string of convictions for similar offences, virtually a CV.

    Although people suffering dementia who are detained in care homes but are unable to make the decision if they want to be there or not, now need to have a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding order, this can be in my own experience an utter sham.

    I may not be alone in this experience. Alzheimers.org.uk are doing research into peoples' experiences of DOLS to help inform their work with the Care Quality Commission and Law Commission.

    The outcome also depends upon the efficiency of the Coroners Court, especially the postmortem. It is rather lax when the info to interested parties that one can be represented by one's own pathologist at postmortem fails to arrive before cremation of the deceased, as happened in my situation. Also if pert tests, such as toxicology reports, are not performed.

    Is it not interesting that in over 30 years a Coroner has not found for those detained by the state, a single case of death by unnatural causes, including those detained in prisons?

    All this inefficiency and cruelty at the taxpayers expense. And yes, why does it take so long? How many who could have been saved by timely intervention suffered avoidably? Do audits include the cost of failure to retain qualified nurses?

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  • Correction to above - see Related articles, not linked articles.

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  • Anonymous | 3-Sep-2015 7:46 pm

    Thanks for info re: research being undertaken by Alzheimer's society, I shall go and look at it.

    My understanding is that if a patient dies in the interim period between a DoLS application being made and the assessment happening it;s not reported to the coroner as a death whilst being detained by the state.

    If I'm correct, that feels illogical to me

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  • Please bear in mind that in a Nursing Home a Registered Nurse MUST be in charge of the Care of the Residents, therefore, as "professionals" they will be held accountable.I would suggest that being struck off could be the least of their worries.

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 3-Sep-2015 7:46 pm

    There is a problem with DoLS and 'expected death' which I've written about on Dignity In Care:

    http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/Discuss_and_debate/Discussion_forum/?obj=viewThread&threadID=783&forumID=45

    It amounts to this issue/question:

    Imagine two twin brothers, aged 81 and living in the same care home. Eric is still 'mentally as sharp as a tack' while his brother Tony is 'confused'. Tony has 'lost all road sense' and tends to just walk off the pavement into oncoming traffic. The care home is close to a busy road, and there is a DoL to keep Tony from wandering out of the home and onto a busy road.

    Both brothers have got serious heart problems, and they share a GP: the GP expects that they will both die within a few weeks because of their heart conditions. It seems that Eric can be 'expected death' but Tony cannot.

    So on a Monday, Eric is found dead in bed one morning, and his younger sister calls at the home to find everything after her brother's death 'calm and routine'. On the Thursday, Tony dies in bed during the night, and when his sister turns up she finds the police in attendance, and things do NOT seem to be 'calm and routine' - isn't the sister likely to reason 'that if the police are here this time, but they were not here when Eric died, the care home staff must have done something wrong' ?

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  • Thanks Michael,

    Much easier to understand when it's in plain English.

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 5-Sep-2015 2:56 am

    It is very difficult to discuss in 'plain English' because nobody properly defines 'expected/unexpected death' - see my piece at:

    http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/Discuss_and_debate/Discussion_forum/?obj=viewThread&threadID=785&forumID=45

    I only stumbled across this 'interaction between DoLS and expected death' recently - it rather annoys me.

    There is a piece on page 4 of The Times today, under the headline 'Expert's ideas get lost in a fog of impenetrable jargon'.

    Someone called Daniel Lewis is quoted: 'It is extremely hard to follow ideas outside my own speciality,' he said. 'And, in some cases, within my speciality.'.

    I've written about that on DIC as well:

    http://www.dignityincare.org.uk/Discuss_and_debate/Discussion_forum/?obj=viewThread&threadID=774&forumID=45

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