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NMC throws out cases against nurses accused of failing to speak up about short-staffing

Liverpool Prison colleagues had faced fitness to practise hearings after reviews revealed poor care

Liverpool Prison colleagues had faced fitness to practise hearings after reviews revealed poor care


The nurses at Liverpool Prison were employed by the now-defunct Liverpool Community
Health NHS Trust  Picture: Alamy

The fitness to practise case against a senior prison nurse who was accused of failing to raise short-staffing concerns has been thrown out by the regulator.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) ruled Debbie Moore had no case to answer in relation to her time as head of healthcare at Liverpool Prison between 2011 and 2014.

Reviews found staff were bullied if they raised care concerns

Ms Moore was one of four nurses employed by the now-defunct Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust facing fitness to practise (FtP) hearings.

Reviews had found evidence of a bullying culture and poor care at the prison. And an investigation into 150 deaths and serious safety incidents in relation to the community health trust is due to report in 2020.

Ms Moore was able to show the NMC she had raised concerns several times over cost-cutting and inadequate staffing, either by email, or in meetings with senior managers. In one email, she informed them there were seven vacant healthcare posts, six staff off sick, and she had been working for a fortnight without a day’s break.

Nurses told they had no case to answer

An allegation about care planning failures was also dropped. Two nurse colleagues facing the same charges, Paul Lawrance and Deborah Dickerson, have also been told they have no case to answer.

A charge of failing to ensure investigations were held into deaths in custody were dropped against all three nurses as well as former director of operations and executive nurse Helen Lockett, on the grounds their employer did not have a documented policy on the issue.

Ms Lockett is due to appear before an FtP panel to answer charges relating to alleged bullying, failure to report poor staffing and inadequate patient care in November.


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