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Nurse failed to provide medication to 10 patients at Ayrshire care home

A nurse who worked at two Ayrshire care homes has been handed an interim suspension for 18 months – after using an empty resident’s room to ‘lie down and rest’ and ‘failing to administer’ medication to 10 patients.

Robyn Connelly rested for an hour-and-a-half in a room, during two occasions, telling colleagues she had ‘management permission to do so.’

But her actions were deemed ‘dishonest’ and she placed patients at ‘unwarranted risk of harm.’

A five-day hearing into Connelly’s behaviour was conducted by a Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NWC) fitness to practise committee following a 15-month delay due to the Covid pandemic.

Connelly, who is not currently working as a registered nurse, did not attend the hearing but denied being “dishonest”.

She claimed she entered the empty room because she was “unwell” and “made the decision to lie down,” after being “unable” to speak to the home manager.

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She also disputed the length of time she lay in the room, claiming it was “15/20 minutes each time”.

But the committee found Connelly had entered the room at Cumbrae Lodge Care Home, Irvine, on July 17, 2018 “without permission” and that she spent “approximately one hour” then another “30 minutes” in there.

On the same day, she was found to have told a Cumbrae Lodge patient to “be quiet,” called another “a pest” and “stupid” and “snatched items” from a patient.

Other charges that were proved said Connelly “snatched” an intercom buzzer from a patient, told one abruptly “stop it” when he repeatedly hit his plate with a piece of cutlery and grabbed aprons from a resident “in an abrupt manner.”

Connelly failed to administer required medication to as many as 10 residents at Claremont Care Home in Ayr
Connelly failed to administer required medication to as many as 10 residents at Claremont Care Home in Ayr

Connelly also faced charges of misconduct from her time at Claremont Care Home, in Ayr’s High Thorneyflat Wynd, dating back to November 24 2017.

To those allegations she admitted she “did not administer required medication” to as many as 10 residents, “signed the medication administration record (MAR) charts” of more than one resident to show that required medication had been administered, “when it had not been” and that her actions were “dishonest.”

An extract from the 30-page NMC document said “on the balance of probabilities”, it is “more likely than not” that Connelly rested in the empty room at Cumbrae Lodge for up to “one hour in the morning and up to half an hour in the afternoon.”

The report goes on to conclude that patients at Claremont were put at “an unwarranted risk harm” as a result of Miss Connelly’s failure to provide medication.

The NMC said: “Miss Connelly’s misconduct has breached fundamental tenets of the nursing profession, including those of honesty and integrity, and compassion and respect. Therefore, Miss Connelly has brought the nursing profession’s reputation into disrepute.

“Miss Connelly’s actions were serious and involved dishonesty and abuse (by way of speaking in a disrespectful manner to patients under her care) and snatching items.”

In conclusion to the hearing, the panel imposed an interim suspension order for 18 months to allow for any appeal process to be completed.

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