North West Wales

Marie Sloan 'locked worker in Llandudno retreat room with body'

Loreto Retreat Image copyright Jeff Buck
Image caption Ms Sloan spent four years working at the retreat

A care manager at a religious retreat locked a worker in a room with a dead body, a professional hearing heard.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was told Marie Sloan, 57, was also critical of nuns who stayed at the Sisters of Loreto retreat in Llandudno.

It heard she stopped a patient's prescription before allegedly telling a colleague she smuggled the stockpiled drugs into South Africa for a relative.

Ms Sloan, who was not at the hearing, was sacked in 2012.

She is accused of "a catalogue of misconduct" during her four years at the retreat and faces four charges, containing 15 allegations, at the fitness to practice hearing in Cardiff.

The facility is a former boarding school, but is now described as a "spiritual retreat" and offers residential places for up to 20 nuns.

A care manager's position was created in 2008 and given to Ms Sloan, who was the only qualified nurse there.


But the hearing was told concerns about her capability amid claims about the chaotic way she carried out her duties prompted auditors to carry out an inspection in 2012.

Finance manager Gareth Maloney said Ms Sloan's defence at the time was "It's a convent not a care home" - remarks which he said "shocked" him.

The panel heard evidence about the sudden collapse of a patient in the dining room.

Housekeeper Lucie Watson said when it was discovered the woman had died, the door was locked while an ambulance was called, despite a cleaner still being in the room.

Mrs Watson said: "She was locked in the room for quite a long time. Considering she was just the laundry lady with no nursing training that was totally inappropriate.

"I would have been petrified if I had been locked in the room with a dead body.

"Why did she lock the room? So nobody else could get in I presume."


Mrs Watson also claimed Ms Sloan "had no respect for the sisters at all" and that they were "totally neglected".

"Marie regularly swore and used to call the sisters witches. They were far from that," she said.

"Considering Marie was a religious person she wasn't a very good Christian."

Mrs Watson added: "If a member of staff wanted to talk to her in confidence she would open her mouth to the next person and it would be around the home anyway."

The NMC panel also heard details of a conversation between Ms Sloan and a staff member about a patient.

The panel was also told how Ms Sloan stopped giving a patient a drug because it was making the woman "fall over and was not doing any good".

But the drug continued to be prescribed and a stockpile was built up.

The hearing was told Ms Sloan said she was going to take the drugs to South Africa for her brother-in-law who had the same condition as the patient.

A staff member warned her against it, saying it "was drug smuggling" and she "might get caught".

But when retreat bosses questioned her about the remarks, Ms Sloan claimed that she had only been joking but appeared agitated when the matter was brought up during a disciplinary.

Giving evidence to the panel, Mr Maloney said: "She was physically in a state of shock. Her actual words were: 'I can see where this is going'.

"At the time I did not know what to believe. She said it was a joke, but then where were the tablets?"

As well as claims of failing to manage medication properly, Ms Sloan was accused of failing to provide "appropriate management".

It said she failed to respond to concerns about "a member of staff attending work under the influence of alcohol" as well as "staff threatening violence towards another" and allowed a patient to light candles in her room beneath a wooden shelf.

The NMC's four-day hearing is expected to resume on Tuesday.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites