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GP surgery failed newly qualified nurse through ‘complete absence’ of training

NMC criticises employer for giving inexperienced nurse too much responsibility
NMC

NMC fitness to practise panel said Hannah Killeen was an inexperienced nurse trying to do her best as it sanctioned her for care inadequacies

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has criticised a GP surgery for wholly inadequate diabetes training after a newly qualified nurse failed to conduct proper diabetic foot checks on more than a dozen patients.

The regulator said Hannah Killeens failings put patients at potential risk, but that her actions amounted to incompetence rather than misconduct because she was an inexperienced nurse trying to do her best.

Ms Killeen was given an 18-month conditions of practice order by the NMC after failing to conduct diabetic foot checks, either adequately or at all, on 16 patients between February and March 2018 at the

NMC fitness to practise panel said Hannah Killeen was ‘an inexperienced nurse trying to do her best’ as it sanctioned her for care inadequacies

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has criticised a GP surgery for ‘wholly inadequate’ diabetes training after a newly qualified nurse failed to conduct proper diabetic foot checks on more than a dozen patients.

The regulator said Hannah Killeen’s failings put patients at potential risk, but that her actions amounted to incompetence rather than misconduct because she was ‘an inexperienced nurse trying to do her best’.

Ms Killeen was given an 18-month conditions of practice order by the NMC after failing to conduct diabetic foot checks, either adequately or at all, on 16 patients between February and March 2018 at the Fernbank Surgery in Lytham, Lancashire.

‘Workplace culture was resistant to challenge’

A fitness to practise (FtP) hearing found Ms Killeen made at least nine inaccurate entries in patient’ records, although weight and blood pressure checks were carried out and noted correctly.

‘[There was] a complete absence of any formal diabetes training and there was limited oversight in the form of a mentor at the practice’

NMC fitness to practise panel hearing papers

The FtP panel heard the nurse had raised concerns about her lack of diabetes training but she did not push the issue because the practice had a culture that resisted challenge.

‘The practice failed in its responsibility to train you properly in this field before booking you in to undertake appointments,’ said the panel.

The surgery says it has since reviewed and improved its training programme.

Absence of training and limited mentoring

Ms Killeen started at the surgery in September 2017 on a preceptorship programme and was assigned a mentor. However, this staff member retired three months later and a replacement was not appointed.

The NMC decided to place Ms Killeen under conditions of practice and not a more severe sanction because she had apologised for her actions, demonstrated insight into her failings and had undertaken further training.

‘We take the training of all our staff very seriously and have reviewed and improved our training programme

Ferndale Surgery partners

The regulator added that as a newly qualified nurse Ms Killeen was ‘subject to a complete absence of any formal diabetes training and there was limited oversight in the form of a mentor at the practice’.

Employer’s response

In a statement, the partners at Fernbank Surgery said: ‘We take the training of all our staff very seriously and since then, we have reviewed and improved our training programme. In recognition of this, the practice has been awarded an Investors in People gold award.

‘It has always been the case that nurses receive direct support and mentorship from very experienced colleagues throughout their time at the practice. We constantly review and update our processes in line with national guidance and recommendations.’


Further information

NMC fitness to practise committee hearing: Hannah Killeen


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