Care home nurse escapes sanctions after patient’s fall

A Halstead care home nurse has avoided disciplinary action after failing to call for medical help after a dementia patient suffered a fall.

Paula Burgin admitted failing to alert a GP or ambulance after a resident suffered small cuts and bruises after falling at Attwood’s Manor care home on Mount Hill on August 28, 2011.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise hearing heard Ms Burgin, who had been employed as a registered nurse by the home since February 2011, denied further charges that she had dishonestly told home manager Amanda Hume that the resident, an elderly woman with dementia and mobility issues, had not suffered any injuries.

Miss Hume’s witness statement said she had become aware of the incident on the day it happened after the home’s general manager had been told during a phone conversation with Ms Burgin that a resident had fallen, and he had called Miss Hume to find out more.

During another phone call later that day, Miss Hume said she had asked Miss Burgin about the fall and had been told the resident did not suffer any injuries.

After hearing evidence from Rebecca Day, a care assistant, and Jackie Roy, a senior care assistant, as well as statements from two other colleagues of Ms Burgin, the panel found the remaining two charges were not proved and Ms Burgin’s fitness to practice was not impaired as her actions did not amount to misconduct.

Susan Hurds, panel chairman, said: “Ms Burgin, as a registered nurse, made a professional judgment based upon what she saw of the resident and on her examination of her injuries. The panel did not consider that Ms Burgin was required to seek further medical advice.”

Following the incident, Ms Burgin was suspended pending an investigation, which resulted in her being dismissed from the home.