We are aware some users might find it difficult to log into our site today. We are working on this issue and hope to have it resolved shortly.
News

Nurse struck off for medication errors and failing to show remorse

Charge included issuing controlled drugs with no checker present, aggravated by showing little concern of risk to patients and lack of engagement with regulator
Picture shows a nurse preparing a drugs trolley

Charge included issuing controlled drugs with no checker present, aggravated by showing little concern of risk to patients and lack of engagement with regulator

A nurse who made medication errors and dishonestly asked a colleague to countersign for administration of drugs she had not witnessed has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Mental health nurse Gary McLellan made a number of serious medication errors between 2017 and 2019, including giving a patient an unprescribed injection at the Gartnavel Royal Hospital in Glasgow, the regulator’s fitness to practise (FtP) panel decided.

It

Charge included issuing controlled drugs with no checker present, aggravated by showing little concern of risk to patients and lack of engagement with regulator

Picture shows a nurse preparing a drugs trolley
Picture: Science Photo Library

A nurse who made medication errors and dishonestly asked a colleague to countersign for administration of drugs she had not witnessed has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Mental health nurse Gary McLellan made a number of serious medication errors between 2017 and 2019, including giving a patient an unprescribed injection at the Gartnavel Royal Hospital in Glasgow, the regulator’s fitness to practise (FtP) panel decided.

It had heard how in April 2017 Mr McLellan administered an injection to a patient with an unprescribed dose of the intra-muscular medicine Pabrinex.

The following year he failed to breathalyse a patient admitted to a drug and alcohol dependency unit prior to administering Disulfiram – a drug used to treat alcohol dependency by creating a sensitivity to ethanol – during a supervised medication round.

Later, when he was working at Greenfield Park Nursing Home in Glasgow in 2019, a manager reported him to the NMC over concerns around his issuing of controlled drugs to four patients.

Mr McLellan gave morphine, temazepam and tramadol to patients without a checker present and later asked a colleague to sign notes to say they had accompanied him. An internal investigation was launched but Mr McLellan failed to engage with it.

NMC study showed that failure to engage with investigations was likely to lead to a more severe outcome

The panel heard he was later dismissed ‘having failed his probation and having shown no insight regarding the seriousness of the controlled drug administration errors’.

The panel found several aggravating factors in the case, including his refusal to take part in the local investigation, showing ‘little concern’ of risk of harm to patients, lack of insight into the impact of his dishonesty on staff, patients and the profession, and lack of engagement with the NMC.

NMC study showed that failure to engage with investigations was likely to lead to a more severe outcome

The hearing report stated: ‘The panel determined that Mr McLellan’s misconduct was at the higher end of the spectrum of impaired fitness to practise, given the widespread nature of the failings and the dishonesty in this case.’

It added: ‘The panel noted that Mr McLellan had chosen not to attend this hearing. Whilst he had responded to the NMC on 26 July 2021, he has not demonstrated any insight or remorse into his conduct, and he indicated at this time that he will not be participating with the proceedings.

‘Therefore, the panel considered that Mr McLellan had forfeited his opportunity to persuade the panel to adopt a more lenient option other than removal from the register.’

Last month an NMC study showed that failure to engage with investigations was likely to lead to a more severe outcome in fitness to practice cases.

Mr McLellan was struck off the register and has 28 days to appeal.


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first three months:

  • Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Older People
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs