Clinical Negligence & Catastrophic Injury Solicitors
Nurse suspended after lying about care.
A NURSE who lied for five years about her actions in the final days of a well-known York musician was suspended from the nursing register.
Susan Nyakwangwa deliberately deceived an inquest, police and care home staff, a nursing professional tribunal decided.
The agency nurse was working at Thistle Hill Care Centre, Knaresborough, when the condition of one of its residents, Bev Jones, deteriorated. He died in hospital two days later.
The tribunal told Nyakwangwa she had: “exposed a patient in your care to an unwarranted risk of harm” and that she had acted in a way that brought the nursing profession into disrepute.
The tribunal added that it was concerned that she may present a risk to patient safety.
Mr Jones’ widow, Lesley, said: “Dishonesty and telling lies is not a mistake - it’s a chosen action by an individual and, when the resulting actions affect others, it’s unforgivable.”
Mr Jones, of Copmanthorpe, a leading chorister, composer, arranger, teacher and musical director, was 75 when he died.
Mrs Jones had no warning from staff that he was ill but told the tribunal that she had found him “virtually comatose” on his bed when she visited him on February 26, 2016.
He was not taken to Harrogate Hospital until that evening and died two days later.
Nyakwangwa, who had more than 40 years in the profession, said she had found that Mr Jones had very high blood sugar levels on the morning of February 26.
She claimed at the tribunal she had rung a local GP about his condition before lunchtime.
She had given a similar account to police, who investigated the circumstances around Mr Jones’ death, the inquest into his death and to two members of the home’s staff.
The tribunal, after hearing that telephone logs showed she did not call before 2pm, decided that she had lied on each occasion.
Pathologist Dr Carl Gray, who carried out a post mortem, told the inquest Mr Jones had had several serious illnesses and would probably have still died had he been taken to hospital earlier.
Mrs Jones said she was happy with the tribunal’s findings that Nyakwangwa had lied.
She is taking further steps with regard to what happened in 2016.
She said that it was ‘absolutely imperative that nurses tell the truth’ as they deal with medical matters.
The tribunal suspended Nyakwangwa for 12 months. Its judgement said: “Patients and their families must be able to trust registered nurses with their lives and the lives of their loved ones. To justify that trust, registered nurses must be honest and open and act with integrity.”
The tribunal also said Nyakwangwa needed to understand the seriousness and ramifications of her lies.