Hospice nurse used hand cream to insert catheter into Northampton patient

Cynthia Spencer Hospice
Cynthia Spencer Hospice

A nurse who worked at Cynthia Spencer Hospice in Northampton has been struck off for using hand cream to insert an out-of-date and unsterile catheter into a dying patient.

Deborah Batchelor was called before a nursing tribunal this week over the incident - which happened on New Year’s Day 2010 - when she failed to follow safe practice and did not properly record it.

The Nursing and Midwifery panel heard she failed to apply any antiseptic gel to an out-of-date catheter and used hand cream instead.

She also failed to record why the catheter was needed and any change in the patient’s condition.

Although Batchelor was suspended following the incident, she was this week permanently banned from nursing.

She failed to attend both the original hearing and two subsequent review hearings.

Wendy Yeadon’s judgement said: ‘Not having heard from Miss Batchelor, the panel had no evidence before it that she appreciated the need to uphold the reputation

of the profession.

“What she had done, and had failed to do, had not promoted the wellbeing of a patient in her care.

“In all, the panel could not be satisfied that Miss Batchelor would not repeat her shortcomings in the future. 
“The misconduct by Miss Batchelor is serious, involving an extremely vulnerable patient.

“In light of the above, there is a risk of repetition as Miss Batchelor has not demonstrated how she would act differently in the future. The panel therefore considered that Ms Batchelor’s fitness to practise remains impaired.”

Mrs Yeadon said allowing Batchelor to practice without any further restriction could cause a risk of harm to patients.”

“The panel noted that the serious breach of the fundamental tenets of the profession evidenced by Miss Batchelor’s actions is fundamentally incompatible with her right to remain on the register.

“This order was necessary to mark the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession and to send to the public and the profession a clear message about the standard of behaviour required of a registered nurse.”

The charges, which were all found proved at the hearing were:

“That you, whilst employed as a Band 5 Registered Nurse in the Hospice Home Team at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Northampton, on 1 January 2010:

1. Did not catheterise Patient A correctly in that you;

a. did not use instillagel;

b. used a catheter with a sterility expiry date of September 2009;

c. did not follow the correct aseptic technique when carrying out the procedure.

2. Did not make clear and accurate records in relation to the catheterisation procedure in that you;

a. did not document the rationale for the catheterisation of Patient A;

b. did not document the use of hand cream instead of instillagel in the procedure;

c. did not document any variance in Patient A’s condition.

And in light of the above, your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your misconduct”

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