Nurse struck off after failing to give CPR and trying to cover up

Registrant ‘remorseful’ but failed to engage with the regulator after being suspended in relation to incident in which a patient died
Brass name plate outside NMC building

Registrant ‘remorseful’ but failed to engage with the regulator after being suspended in relation to incident in which a patient died

Brass name plate outside NMC building
Picture: Barney Newman

A nurse who failed to carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately on a mental health patient attempting to take their own life has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Nurse Samuel Haward told a fitness to practise panel he had checked for vital signs but ‘panicked and went to get help,’ as nobody had responded to his call for assistance.

The mental health nurse was later found guilty at Swindon Crown Court of perverting the course of justice, after lying to police and the coroner about the incident, which occurred in 2015.

After initially suspending Mr Haward in July 2023, the NMC has now decided to strike him off the register.

Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the patient

Mr Haward had just arrived for his night shift at mental health inpatient unit Chalkdown House in Swindon on 17 September 2015 when a support worker informed him that a patient had been found hanging in his room.

Mr Haward released the patient from a ligature around his neck and placed him on the floor. However, rather than starting CPR, the nurse went to the office to call 999, telling colleagues that a patient had died.

Emergency responders asked if CPR had been commenced and were told by a colleague that it had not. Paramedics arrived and tried to resuscitate the patient for some minutes, but were unsuccessful and the patient was pronounced dead.

Mr Haward, along with a support worker and another nurse – registrant B – later told police that CPR had been started before the 999 call. However, police became suspicious, as this contradicted details in the emergency phone call recording.

Registrant B later admitted to police that she had lied, saying Mr Haward had put pressure on her to keep to this story, calling her several times, meeting her and contacting her while she was on holiday.

No concerns reported while nurse practised unrestricted for more than seven years

The NMC found that Mr Haward was ‘remorseful’ and that no concerns had been reported while he had been practising unrestricted for the past seven and a half years. However, since the initial suspension over the matter in July 2023, the panel said the registrant had not engaged with the NMC.

Their report said: ‘The panel determined that this case is very serious, and as such, it was extremely concerned that Mr Haward had not engaged at all with the NMC following his suspension, despite specifically being given the opportunity to demonstrate fuller insight into the impact of his misconduct and to provide evidence of steps taken to strengthen his practice.’

The striking-off order will take effect on the expiry of a current suspension order on 30 May 2024.

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