Northampton nurse struck off after giving dementia patient a ‘good whack’

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A NURSE who gave a dementia patient a double dose of medication then boasted about giving him ‘a good whack’ has been struck off from the profession.

Janet Baines, aged 52, administered twice the necessary amount of the anti-psychotic drug haloperidol to the elderly man, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard. The pensioner, who could be aggressive at times, became very drowsy and refused food and drink.

Staff at the Princess Marina Hospital in Northampton were concerned the man, referred to as Patient A, could have been given an overdose after hearing Baines telling a co-worker: “Don’t worry, I have given him a good whack so he will be all right for this afternoon.”

But Baines lied on Patient A’s records saying he had only been given one tablet, when in fact she had given him two, it was said. She was found guilty of five misconduct charges by the NMC panel.

Panel chair Maurice Cohen said Baines was ‘deliberately dishonest’ and showed ‘disregard for the dignity and well-being of Patient A’.

The incident happened at a dementia unit at the hospital in Upton on August 30, 2008. The hospital launched an inquiry before Baines was subject to disciplinary proceedings in February 2009 and it was then passed to the NMC.

Baines, who attended the hearing in London, continued to deny the allegations, despite the facts having been found proved. She refused to accept the findings of the panel and insisted she treated every patient in her care with dignity and respect.

But the panel ruled her fitness to practice was impaired. Panel chairman, Maurice Cohen, said: “While this matter was only one episode, it was extremely serious, showing disregard for the well-being and dignity of Patient A. It was deliberate dishonesty which put the patient at risk.

“We can have no confidence that the conduct will not be repeated or that is has been, or can be, capable of being remedied. Your conduct has breached some of the fundamental tenets of the nursing profession.

“Your misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with you continuing to be registered with the NMC.

“The panel has determined that the only appropriate sanction is a striking off order.”