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NURSE GAVE THE WRONG VACCINE - THEN ALTERED MEDICAL RECORD.

Byline: RACHEL STRETTON

A NURSE gave a patient the wrong vaccine - and then changed the medical records.

Fernanda Lucas made the error while working at the Yew Tree Medical Centre in Solihull, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told.

She was found to have given a woman, known as Patient A, an Hepatitis A vaccine instead of a tetanus booster, and to have changed an entry in the patient's vaccination documents to record that a tetanus booster had been administered.

Ms Lucas, who did not attend the hearing, was cleared of charges that she had acted dishonestly.

But she was handed a 12-month conditions of practice order, with conditions that mean she must undertake further training, have an identified supervisor and inform any current or future employers about the order.

The panel found that Ms Lucas' behaviour amounted to misconduct, and that her fitness to practise was impaired.

Ms Lucas qualified as a nurse in February 2011, and was employed as a Practice Nurse by GPS Healthcare, which runs Yew Tree Medical Centre, Solihull, from March 2016 until January 2018.

Ms Wilson stated Lucas has not the risk of Patient A been exposed her In November 2017, Patient A attended the surgery for a travel vaccination. The Director of Nursing for GPS Healthcare told the NMC hearing that the patient had needed a tetanus booster.

But the vaccine administered by Ms Lucas, as recorded on the system, was Havrix Monodose, a Hepatitis A vaccination. Patient A was given a printout of her record.

A month later, the patient's partner went to the surgery for his own tetanus booster, and asked his nurse - not Ms Lucas - if his wife had received the same vaccination. The nurse later checked the records and, seeing that the records stated she had received the Hepatitis A vaccine, raised concerns with the Director of Nursing.

The director emailed Ms Lucas telling her to contact the original patient and arrange to see her again to administer the tetanus booster. Several weeks later, the director checked the patient's record and saw that they had been amended by Ms Lucas. An IT audit showed which edits had been made, as well as the dates and times.

In an internal email, Ms Lucas said she had changed the records to correct her previous error of recording that a Hepatitis A vaccine had been given.

An investigation was launched and Ms Lucas was suspended by the practice on December 27. At a disciplinary hearing on January 22 she was dismissed.

The NMC referred to stock sheets and evidence provided by the medical centre's Director of Nursing and Business Manager and found that, on the balance of probabilities, the vaccine given was for Hepatitis A, and not a tetanus booster.

However, in considering if Ms Lucas had acted dishonestly, the panel heard that she had maintained throughout the investigation that she believed she had administered a tetanus booster - so the charge was found not proved.

Presenting the case to the NMC panel, Rachael Culverhouse-Wilson said that it is 'fundamental' for nurses to be able to take measures to reduce the likelihood of mistakes.

A report published following the hearing said: "Ms Culverhouse-Wilson stated that Ms Lucas has not recognised the risk of harm that Patient A could have been exposed to by her actions. She has continually maintained that, even if she had not administered a tetanus booster, the patient would not have been at risk."

Culverhouse-that Ms recognised harm that could have to by actions.

The report added: "Furthermore, Ms Culverhouse-Wilson submitted that Ms Lucas has failed in her duty of candour to be open and candid in not fully communicating to Patient A that there may have been an error and the potential for harm. Neither did she apologise for this or arrange to put this right."

Parts of the panel relating to Ms Lucas' health were heard in private. The panel also drew no adverse inference from her absence from the hearing.

Mitigating features taken into account by the panel included that it was an isolated incident, that no actual patient harm resulted from her actions and that there was 'significant personal mitigation'.

employed as by GPS runs had the likelihood A report the the have

Ms Culverhouse-Wilson stated that Ms Lucas has not recognised the risk of harm that Patient A could have been exposed to by her actions.
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Author:RACHEL STRETTON
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 5, 2019
Words:733
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