Nurse who got medication wrong is struck off

Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough Telegraph

Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough Telegraph

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A ‘stressed-out’ hospice nurse who repeatedly got patients’ medication wrong - including giving out a painkilling dose ten times too high - has been struck off.

Victoria Irene Pinder gave the patient 2.5 milligrams of the drug in 2006, when it should have been 250 micrograms, a tenth of what she administered.

Working at Peterborough’s Thorpe Hall Hospice in 2010, she had also given the wrong drugs to a patient.

Jane Petit, Thorpe Hall Hospice Director, said: “We formally dismissed the nurse in September 2010, after a full investigation was undertaken by the management team and clinical quality team in line with all relevant guidelines and our own policies and procedures. The case was then referred to The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

“We are pleased that this is now finally resolved and we can confirm that during this period no harm was caused to any of our patients. The health and safety of our patients is always our primary concern and we will continue to uphold the high standards expected and required of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.”

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) committee said the failures took place when she was stressed, busy or taking on too much work.

Conditions were imposed on Miss Pinder practicing in 2012 after her fitness to practice was found to be ‘impaired’.

But after a review by the NMC committee, she has now been struck off the nursing register by a new panel.

‘The panel determined that, in all the circumstances, the only sanction that would be proportionate and appropriate to protect the public interest is a striking off order,’ it said in its decision.

Panel members said Miss Pinder’s actions had put her patients at ‘unwarranted risk of harm’.

In March 2006, she gave a patient 2.5mg of Alfentanil when he should have received 250 micrograms.

In March 2010, she inappropriately administered the wrong type of painkiller to a patient and incorrectly checked a drug a colleague was administering.

And in September of that year, she gave a patient a 10mg ‘crisis dose’ of sedative, when the patient needed only the ‘as required’ 2.5mg dose.

The panel said Miss Pinder did not contest her striking off, having decided to end her career of her own free will.