Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford nurses struck off over waiting times

Tracey-Ann White and Sharon Turner (left to right)
Image caption Tracey-Ann White and Sharon Turner were found to have inaccurately recorded discharge times

Two Stafford Hospital nurses who falsified A&E discharge times have been struck off the nursing register.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel found that Tracey-Ann White and Sharon Turner had brought their profession into serious disrepute.

The false recording took place between 2000 and 2010 and was done to avoid breaches of four-hour waiting targets.

Ms White is still employed by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. Ms Turner left in September 2009.

The trust chief executive Maggie Oldham, said: "[Tracey-Ann White] has been working as a clinical site manager.

"We will now take time to give careful consideration to the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel's decision."

'Suicide bombers'

Both nurses denied all allegations.

They faced a series of charges of misconduct for actions between December 2003 and October 2009 in Ms Turner's case and between July 2000 and July 2010 in Ms White's case.

The NMC panel found the fitness to practise of Ms Turner was "impaired" after she used abusive language about patients.

She also racially abused some junior doctors, referring to them as "the suicide bombers", the panel heard.

It was told Ms White refused to help a senior nurse undress an elderly patient.

Helene Donnelly, a former nurse at Stafford, had told an earlier hearing she had witnessed the two nurses "bully" other staff to falsify documents.

Ms Donnelly, who now works at the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust, said she hoped the ruling would encourage more people "to speak out" about poor care.

She said: "I think that many nurses work extremely hard and it is sad that a few have given nursing a bad name.

"All patients have the right to receive the highest standard of care and all staff should be able to feel they are truly listened to, supported and protected if they raise concerns."

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was the subject of a public inquiry, led by Robert Francis, after it was found poor care could have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect.

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