Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Professional body finds Kettering General Hospital nurse guilty of misconduct
A nurse at one of the country's worst rated children's wards has been found guilty of misconduct concerning her treatment of a vulnerable toddler.
The child, Jorgie Stanton-Watts, 23 months, died from dehydration and sepsis after a series of failings by Kettering General Hospital (KGH) in October 2016.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found the actions of Afua Ntumy, 45, "fell seriously short of the standards expected."
The child, who had a condition called hypopituitarism, was admitted to the children's ward Skylark with a temperature, but deteriorated rapidly and died days later.
In 2019, a coroner concluded her treatment by two consultants and two nurses amounted to neglect.
In July, an NMC panel found that Afua Ntumy, repeatedly failed to carry out observations or record concerns as indicated by the Paediatric Early Warning System (PEWS); did not escalate Jorgie's condition to a paediatric doctor; did not weigh Jorgie or adequately monitor her fluid intake/output and did not take any action when Jorgie became dehydrated
Presenting the NMC's case, Alastair Kennedy, said Ms Ntumy did "not give [Jorgie] any priority" despite her "unusual, distressed behavior."
He added: "You often sought to deflect blame on to others, and do not appear to accept that your nursing was deficient."
However, the panel acknowledged the nurse felt she "had been singled out" and accepted that the culture on the ward at the time "did not support good practice."
It said there had been no regulatory concerns since the incident and ruled that Ms Ntumy was fit to continue practising.
Afua Ntumy told the panel "the events of 2016 were a very big lesson" for her and that she had "improved her practice as a result."
Her most recent appraisal was said to have assessed her as being "very good at nursing the seriously ill child."
Earlier this year, a BBC investigation highlighted the serious misgivings of parents whose children were treated at KGH, with a substantial number dying or becoming seriously ill. So far, more than 50 families have shared their concerns.
Following an inspection by the care regulator, Skylark ward and the paediatric emergency department at KGH were downgraded to "inadequate."
A follow-up inspection carried out in light of the BBC's findings reported signs of improvement.
Chief executive of KGH, Deborah Needham, said this was "testament to their dedication to improving patient care".
She added: "We realise that we have not always got this right, and as I have previously said, I am truly sorry for this."