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Nurse struck off after death of patient he turned away

Patrick McKee’s actions contributed to death of Hull 22-year-old Sally Mays, Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise panel rules
Miranda House mental health crisis unit, where nurse Patrick McKee worked

NMC fitness to practise panel said the crisis resolution nurse failed to take numerous opportunities to demonstrate insight or remorse

A nurse who refused to admit a vulnerable patient to a mental health unit hours before she died has been struck off.

A 12-day hearing found the actions of Patrick McKee, a crisis resolution nurse at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, put patient Sally Mays at serious risk of harm. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise (FtP) panel concluded that by refusing to admit Ms May to a psychiatric ward Mr McKee had contributed to her death.

NMC fitness to practise panel said the crisis resolution nurse failed to take numerous opportunities to demonstrate insight or remorse

Nurse Patrick McKee said he could not admit Sally Mays to the Miranda House unit because of a lack of bed space Picture: Google

A nurse who refused to admit a vulnerable patient to a mental health unit hours before she died has been struck off.

A 12-day hearing found the actions of Patrick McKee, a crisis resolution nurse at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, put patient Sally Mays at serious risk of harm. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise (FtP) panel concluded that by refusing to admit Ms May to a psychiatric ward Mr McKee had contributed to her death.

Nurse cited lack of beds at unit for refusal to admit

Ms Mays, 22, died at her home in Hull in July 2014, two hours after she was turned away by the mental health crisis team at the Miranda House unit, despite being considered extremely vulnerable and at risk of suicide.

Mr McKee would not admit her because there was not enough bed space, the NMC heard. Later, when Ms Mays tried to harm herself, he used words to the effect of ‘leave her, she’ll faint before she dies’, the FtP panel was told.

Following the hearing, her mother Angela Mays said: ‘People in acute crisis deserve help and support. Those charged with their care have an obligation to treat them with dignity, respect, kindness and to thoroughly assess them.

‘Where they fail to show any human kindness, any respect and don’t do their jobs they will be called out.’

‘A lack of basic care and compassion’

On 25 July 2014, police were called to Miranda House after the decision was made not to admit Ms Mays and she became ‘self-destructive’.

Officers took her home after asking the team to reconsider. The panel heard Mr McKee told officers ‘she’s been assessed, we want her out of the building’.

‘There needs to be a very, very clear message this behaviour is not within the code of practice, will not be tolerated, and those that behave in such a way will be held to account’

Angela Mays, mother of Sally Mays

The panel noted Mr McKee had treated Ms Mays ‘with a lack of basic fundamental care and compassion’.

‘Despite numerous opportunities to demonstrate insight and remorse, Mr McKee has demonstrated no insight or remorse,’ the panel stated.

Mr McKee did not cooperate with the NMC investigation and, according to the report, described the process as a circus. He had failed to respond to letters from the regulator since 2015.

Hull Teaching NHS Foundation Trust statement

A spokesperson for Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘Following the tragic event in 2014, the trust undertook its own investigation and has implemented significant improvements to its processes and strategy since this time, reducing the likelihood of any similar incidents occurring.’

They confirmed Mr McKee had not worked at the trust for a number of years.

Fresh inquest into Sally May’s death must take place

Sally Mays parents Andy and Angela Mays outside the High Court in London
Sally Mays’s campaigning parents Andy and Angela outside the High Court, where the original inquest into their daughter’s death was quashed last month Picture: Alamy

The narrative verdict of an inquest into Ms May’s death was quashed by the High Court in December 2021 after it was found evidence had been withheld from the coroner. The court ruled a new inquest must take place, following following a long campaign by her parents.

Angela Mays said: ‘There needs to be a very, very clear message that this behaviour is not within the code of practice, will not be tolerated, and those that behave in such a way will be held to account. It’s an absolutely vital message.’


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