Northampton nurse fell asleep on the job without switching on young patient's breathing monitor

A Northampton nurse has been struck off after falling asleep on duty on two separate incidents.

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, 5:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:53 pm
The nurse worked on the Paddington Ward in Northampton General Hospital.

Cheryl Donna Schofield could not appear at her conduct and competence meeting before the Nursing and Midwifery Council on April 26 in Edinburgh, where the panel decided she was unfit to practise.

A report from by the panel said: "Miss Schofield had neglected a very vulnerable child on two occasions and has been given several opportunities [...] to remediate her practice.

"The panel, therefore, directs the Registrar to strike off Miss Schofield’s name from the NMC register."

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In December 2013, while working on the Paddington children's ward in Northampton General Hospital, Miss Schofield fell asleep while on duty.

Then, in April 2014, while caring for a young patient at his home overnight, Miss Schofield again fell sleep and did not ensure that his breathing equipment was switched on or check that his cot sides were up.

Miss Schofield emailed the panel in May 2016 to express her regret and acknowledged it was 'completely wrong' and that her actions could have 'drastic consequences on the patient, especially the person that I was looking after."

However, without any more contact or involvement from Miss Schofield since this email, the panel ruled that there remained a risk of repetition and that her fitness to practise remained impaired.

The panel said: "Beyond attempting to reassure the panel that her misconduct will not be repeated, [Miss Schofield] has not provided any evidence of steps taken by her to address or remedy her misconduct.

"This panel concluded that there remains a serious risk of harm to patients."

Miss Schofield was struck off the register and will not be able to reapply for five years.