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Nurses jailed for wilful neglect.

Two nurses, who failed to carry out blood glucose tests on stroke ward patients and then faked the results, have been jailed.

Lauro Bertulano, 46, and Rebecca Jones, 31, neglected patients at Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. A third nurse, Natalie Jones, 42, was given a community order for the same offence.

Cardiff Crown Court heard they failed to check blood glucose levels at least every two hours on multiple occasions. All three previously pleaded guilty to multiple charges of wilful neglect.

Rebecca Jones was sentenced to eight months, Bertulano to four and Natalie Jones was given a 12-month community order. Rebecca Jones had admitted nine charges relating to nine patients, Bertulano to six charges and Natalie Jones to two, all between 2012 and 2013.

The court heard concerns were first raised in February 2013 when there were discrepancies between blood glucose levels recorded in patients' notes and readings on a glucose meter taken by Rebecca Jones.

She was suspended and an investigation was launched. It found that Jones made 51 fake entries in patients' notes, Bertulano made 26, while Natalie Jones made four.

Patients on the ward should have been routinely tested every two hours, but one went 26 hours without being checked. The court heard the absence of such tests could be potentially harmful to those unable to regulate their own blood glucose levels.

Judge Tom Crowther QC said: "I pause to remind myself that you all would have seen worried relatives coming and going, sitting with their mothers, fathers or spouses as they lay ill, some approaching the end of their lives, and to wonder, with bemusement, how you could have continued to betray your patients and those families as you did.

"This was a failure of compassion and humanity. This was clear-eyed and calculated deception to make the defendants' working time easier. There was also a real risk to health, even if that risk did not materialise."

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board offered "sincere apologies" to the families and said it would contact them, offering to meet and answer questions.

 

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