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Nurse cautioned over derogatory notes

23 June 2008

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A 58-year-old registered nurse from Rochdale, Lancashire has had an 18-month caution order placed on her after an independent panel for the NMC found her fitness to practise was impaired.

Ann Marie Carrington admitted to writing a note about a patient’s character and attitude in the patient’s records while she was employed at Baillie Street Health Centre in February 2005. Carrington wrote that the patient was “a very domineering woman” and that “someone should tell her about manners”.

She also locked herself and another nurse in a room and refused to leave when asked to do so and failed to appropriately record that she had given a patient a flu vaccination.

The panel heard evidence that Carrington caused the patient distress when she discovered the written notes in her records, and found Carrington’s actions in locking herself and another away to be aggressive and intimidating.

In reaching their decision, the panel deemed these incidents to be isolated and took into account Carrington’s impeccable nursing career spanning 35 years, her excellent testimonials and expression of sincere regret and insight into her failings. Carrington has been advised to read and familiarise herself with the NMC’s Code.

Commenting on the decision to issue a caution order, NMC spokesperson Kristy Hempel said: “Carrington’s actions breached her professional Code in that a nurse is required to act in a way that justifies the trust and confidence the public have in them. The Code also makes it clear that healthcare records are an essential tool of communication within a clinical team and Carrington has been instructed to familiarise herself with this Code. Considering Carrington’s otherwise impeccable nursing career, the panel judged that the public would be sufficiently protected by an 18-month caution order.”