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Tuesday, 02 August 2016

Bridgend nurses who faked blood sugar readings could be struck off

Written by The Press Association

Three nurses caught faking blood sugar readings of vulnerable patients face being struck off the nursing register for good.

Rebecca Jones, 31, and Lauro Bertulano, 46, were both jailed last year after admitting falsifying medical notes while working at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, south Wales.

Natalie Jones, a 42-year-old junior nurse who also worked on the same specialist stroke ward, avoided a custodial sentence but was given a community order.

While criminal proceedings against the trio are now over, they have been made the subject of fitness to practise proceedings by watchdog The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

A tribunal in Cardiff was told the registrants ability to act as nurses had been "impaired" by their convictions - and their former employer Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board wants the three to be banned from ever working as nurses again.

A NMC panel - headed by chairwoman Helen Potts - spent most of Monday deliberating about what to do with the disgraced nurses. Sanctions available include a striking off order.

However, following five hours of discussions the group had not yet reached a decision - with discussions resuming again on Tuesday.

Last year, a court heard a criminal probe was launched after an in-house investigation by ABMU uncovered discrepancies in blood sugar readings.

A judge was told that patients on Ward 2 of the Princess of Wales Hospital's Ward "lacked capacity" and needed their blood sugar routinely tested every two hours because their levels were often wildly unpredictable.

Prosecutors said among the victims included an 82-year-old, who once went more than an entire day before a proper test was carried out, and an insulin-dependant diabetic, who had seven false entries recorded in his notes in the nine days he spent on the ward.

Rebecca Jones, of Brynmenyn, was later given an eight month jail term after admitting wilfully neglecting nine patients - while Bertulano of Bridgend, was sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty to the neglect of six patients.

Mother-of-three Natalie Jones, also of Bridgend, was given a community order with 80 hours unpaid work. She had admitted the wilful neglect of two patients.

Following the sentencing last December, families said all three should never be allowed to work as nurses again.

Christopher Bevan, the son of patient Ronald Bevan, 88, who had false readings entered in his notes by all three registrants, said: "I have been a nurse myself for 30 years and became a nurse to care for the sick.

"They are a disgrace to the profession. They are a disgrace to the profession and should be struck off.

"They do not deserve to be called nurses.....they have no compassion."

The NMC hearing resumes today.

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