Stafford Hospital senior nurses 'changed records'

Tracy White (left) and Sharon Turner (right) Tracy White (left) and Sharon Turner (right) are accused of altering hospital records

Two senior nurses at Stafford Hospital changed waiting time figures and ill-treated patients, a disciplinary hearing was told.

A&E sisters Sharon Turner and Tracy White face a series of allegations dating back to 2003.

Ms White refused to help undress one elderly woman patient, it was alleged.

Last month a public inquiry led by Robert Francis published findings into standards of care at Stafford Hospital from 2005-2008.

The inquiry led to heavy criticism of the Mid Staffordshire Trust.

'Cold-shoulder'

Nurse Helene Donnelly, who had given evidence to the public inquiry, told the Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing the two senior sisters had changed discharge documents and "bullied" other staff to do the same.

She said: "If I or my colleagues refused to change discharge times, Sister[s] Turner and White would shout, cold-shoulder and warn [that] the department could be closed."

Ms Donnelly said Ms White had also badly treated patients and refused to help undress one elderly patient in A&E, describing her as a "naughty monkey".

She said Ms White had told one junior doctor not to examine the abdomen of a patient because she needed the bed.

Helene Donnelly Helene Donnelly said staff were under huge pressures to meet the four-hour waiting time target

Ms Donnelly said she had also witnessed patients being transferred out of A&E in soiled sheets, with dried faeces, at the insistence of sisters White and Turner, to meet a "four-hour target". The hearing was told that failure to treat, discharge or admit patients within that time led to staff being reprimanded by managers.

'Gaps in paperwork'

The hearing was told that Ms Turner, who no longer works at the hospital, often swore in front of patients and made comments about their weight.

She is also accused of describing one Asian junior doctor as "Osama's mate" and asking him if he had a bomb in his rucksack.

Ms Donnelly said senior managers must have been aware of changes to records, because of gaps in paperwork.

The two senior sister are accused of falsifying hospital data and instructing others to do the same, making inappropriate comments about patients and staff, and transferring patients before they had properly assessed.

The pair both deny the allegations, which if upheld could lead to their being struck off.

The fitness-to-practise hearing is expected to last up to two weeks.

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