Stoke & Staffordshire

Nurse struck off for Stafford Hospital death

Gillian Astbury
Image caption Gillian Astbury died at Stafford Hospital in April 2007

A nurse has been struck off after failing to identify a patient who died at Stafford Hospital was diabetic.

Gillian Astbury, 66, died at the hospital in April 2007 after not receiving insulin.

In July, a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel found former Stafford nurses Jeannette Coulson and Ann King guilty of misconduct.

King has been struck off by the panel, while Coulson was given a caution for a period of three years.

During the earlier hearing, King was also found to have lied about changing patients' dressings and giving them medication, while Coulson admitted swearing at staff.

The panel heard the pair had failed to carry out blood-sugar level tests on Ms Astbury.

She was admitted to Stafford Hospital a week after suffering a stroke on 1 April 2007.

She did not receive insulin for 48 hours, and was discovered collapsed in a bed at 22:30 on 10 April.

'Appalling care'

In a statement, Ms Astbury's daughter Kate Beeson said: "While we are happy that the conclusion of the NMC hearing draws a line under the case, whatever the ruling, nothing can bring my mother back, and nothing can truly reflect the severity of the nurses' negligence.

"We have been fighting for justice for several, very tiring years. Since her tragic death, I have been unable to put my mother to rest.

"Today's judgment, and all of the effort that has gone into getting to this stage, will be completely in vain if others in a similar position do not step out and make their voices heard.

"It is important that those responsible are brought to account and people need to speak up in order to make that happen."

In a statement, the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust said its thoughts were with Ms Astbury's family and apologised for the "appalling care" she received.

It added that both nurses had since left the trust.

The trust is itself facing a prosecution over Ms Astbury's death, brought by the Health and Safety Executive, under the health and safety at work act.

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