Nurse who Placed MRSA-infected Patient on Open Withybush Hospital Ward is Struck Off

A nurse has been struck off for “knowingly placing” an MRSA infected patient in an open hospital ward.

Withybush Hospital

Diane Fairlie moved a highly infectious pensioner out of their isolated room after pretending she had treated their infected wound.

Fairlie refused to turn up to her misconduct hearing at Temple Court in Cardiff on Monday – writing in a statement she had “no intention” of being involved.

The 57-year-old had been asked to dress the MRSA-infected leg wound of a patient whilst working a night shift at Withybush General Hospital in Haverfordwest on April 20, 2012.

The nurse, who had been registered for 20 years, lied about tending to the patient – referred to as Patient A – on a wound chart, before moving them from their isolated room to an open ward.

The next morning another nurse confronted Fairlie, who lives in Tenby, after finding Patient A in the open ward with their leg wound still open, having dried and “crusted over”.

Fairlie argued she had moved them after performing a risk assessment, and the reason she hadn’t dressed their wound was because she got “mixed up” with another patient.

Jennifer Browne, the case presenter for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, told the panel moving Patient A into an open ward put other patients in danger of contracting MRSA.

The panel also heard two other charges which of Fairlie insulting elderly patients.

On the same shift, Fairlie shoved her hand in a patient’s face – referred to as Patient S – and said “talk to the hand!” as they tried speaking to her after a fall.

Another incident in August 2013 saw Fairlie being rude to a patient referred to as Patient B.

The panel heard Patient B suffered from dementia, and would regularly wander over to the nurses station in the evenings and enjoyed looking at the telephones.

Fairlie saw Patient B examining the nurses station and screamed “Don’t touch the phones! Leave the phones alone.”

A staff member said Patient B, who was described as extremely sensitive and in need of constant reassurance, was left “petrified” and “frightened”.

Sally Ruthen, who chaired the disciplinary panel, said only removing Fairlie from the nursing register would protect the public and be in the public interest.

Mrs Ruthen said Fairlie’s statement indicated she would not be interested in a return to nursing, and was remorseful for her actions. It was also noted she had an unblemished record apart from the three charges.

Source: Western Telegraph