Nurse banned from working for three months after falling asleep while looking after brain injury patients in Northampton

Old Bailey in London where the tribunal was heard
Old Bailey in London where the tribunal was heard

A nurse who slept in her chair when she should have been looking after patients with brain injuries has been banned from working for three months.

Janet Oladele was found snoring while wrapped in a blanket as she snoozed during a night shift at the Brain Injury Services Unit at Grafton Manor, Northampton.

She was also seen playing on her mobile phone while tending a patient requiring round-the-clock care and constant supervision, a Nursing and Midwifery Council tribunal heard.

Oladele, who now works as a staff nurse for Milton Keynes Community Services, said she now tries to stick to day shifts.

Banning her from nursing for three months, Panel Chair Malcom Davidson, said: ‘Ms Oladele’s failings in providing care to vulnerable patients constituted serious departures from what is expected of a registered nurse.

‘Sleeping whilst on duty and using personal electronic devices was unacceptable behaviour and not at the lower end of the spectrum of misconduct.

‘Ms Oladele’s actions constituted serious misconduct, that they fell far short of the standards of propriety expected in the circumstances.’

But he added: ‘Ms Oladele’s misconduct, although serious, was not fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the NMC Register.

‘There is no evidence that there has been any repetition since the incidents – Ms Oladele has gained some insight and demonstrated remorse regarding her misconduct.

‘The panel also noted that no actual harm was caused to patients.’

The tribunal heard Oladele was seen by two colleagues playing on her phone and tablet on the nightshift of February 10 and 11 2014.

She was also heard chatting to someone on her mobile in a foreign language, even though nurses at the hospital were banned from having gadgets with them while on duty.

Oladele, who was not present but was defended by a Unison rep admitted sleeping and playing with her tablet during the February 10 and 11 nightshift, at the hearing in central London.

She also admitted sleeping and playing on her phone, sometimes with her headphones in, on multiple occasions between November 2013 and February 2014.

In a letter to the NMC, Oladele said: ‘I admit that I slept on duty on the above dates, I agree that as a nurse in charge of patient I must not sleep on duty.

‘It is wrong because the lives of the patients in my care were at risk, I would not be able to make accurate observations of the patient’s needs and care when required.

‘Sleeping on duty could also result in me not being able to promptly respond to the patient’s needs. I indeed apologise for what I did wrong.’

She added: ‘By using my mobile phone in this way I put the patients at risk because my attention was being diverted, I shouldn’t have had my phone in my possession at all, whilst caring for the patient.’

Oladele was given 28 days to appeal the decision.