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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbrian nurse made no attempt to resuscitate patient

A nurse faces being struck off after a misconduct panel found that he made no attempt to resuscitate a patient.

Jose Garcia photo
Jose Garcia

The Nursing & Midwifery Council was told that the patient who died had never asked medics to refrain from attempting resuscitation.

A meeting of the council’s conduct and competence panel was told that Jose Garcia, employed by the north Cumbrian hospital trust from 2002, mistakenly believed the patient was the subject of a “Do not resuscitate” (DNR) notice.

He claimed that a colleague earlier told him a notice was in force for the patient.

But a summary of the misconduct meeting states: “He was asked whether he had received inaccurate information and stated that was what he had been told.

“However, later in the meeting Mr Garcia admits that he should have attempted resuscitation and that he had not checked Patient A’s care plan for the DNR.”

In another meeting, he admitted that he had made a mistake and should have tried to revive the patient.

Instead, he put a blood pressure collar on the patient, whose identity was not revealed by the committee.

The incident happened on the evening of December 4, 2009, though the hearing has not clarified whether it was at The Cumberland Infirmary or at the trust’s West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

The committee found a second allegation of misconduct against Garcia has been proven, ruling that he failed to ensure that a patient was being intravenously fed.

When asked by a colleague if the intravenous food was in place, he said that it was. At the time, he was the nurse in charge of the ward.

In an email sent by Garcia to the Nursing and Midwifery Council in May, he said that he would not contest the allegations against him.

In its findings, the hearing report states: “The panel consider that Mr Garcia has repeatedly failed to demonstrate any insight into the seriousness or consequences of his omissions. There is no evidence of regret or remorse into his failings.

“He has not provided any evidence of any steps taken to improve his practice.

“Mr Garcia’s failures resulted in actual patient harm. The panel noted the lack of any remediation or insight and concluded the risk of repetition was high.

“The panel noted that there were serious concerns regarding many aspects of Mr Garcia’s nursing practice at the time of these incidents. The panel saw evidence that Mr Garcia was subject to an action plan with specific objectives designed to address deficiencies in his competence.”

The panel concluded the public interest required that it found that Garcia’s ability to practice as a nurse was currently impaired.

The summary of the case added that panel members were doubtful whether Garcia would respond positively to conditions that could be placed on his practice.

It adds: “It is apparent from his disengagement with these proceedings that he has failed to take advantage of this opportunity to demonstrate remorse and remediation.”

The panel concludes that Garcia, who qualified as a nurse in October 2002, should be struck off.

He is now the subject of an interim suspension and the full striking off will take effect in 28 days if he chooses not to appeal against the ruling. If that happens, he will be unable to apply to have his professional registration restored for at least five years.

A spokeswoman for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the hospitals in Carlisle and Whitehaven, declined to comment on the case.

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