Retired nurse struck off over insulin error

Clifton Hospital
Clifton Hospital

A retired hospital nurse with 46 years’ experience has been struck off after she made medication mistakes and then tried to cover them up.

Christine Ann Shepherd worked at Clifton Hospital, in St Annes, and had been employed by the local health trust for her entire career.

Mrs Shepherd, aged in her 60s and who lives in Preston, told a colleague ‘don’t say anything’ after she gave an incorrect dose of insulin to one patient in 2013.

The following year she signed a medication record a day late. She realised she had failed to do the required paperwork at the time of giving drugs to a patient.

Mrs Shepherd, who retired from the trust in August 2014, has now been struck off the nursing register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The watchdog found that, despite a bid by Mrs Shepherd to be removed voluntarily from the register, there remained a risk to the public if she ever decided to work as a nurse again.

An NMC panel, sitting in London, said: “Mrs Shepherd displayed failings in basic nursing practice and acted dishonestly when she realised she had made those errors.

“Her first instinct was to try and conceal her mistakes.

“Although she demonstrated some honesty when questioned about both incidents, in that she admitted the errors immediately and realised why her conduct and actions had been misguided, her actions upon discovering the issues were dishonest and did not demonstrate insight.

“She failed to take personal responsibility for her reporting errors and the panel concluded that she had demonstrated only limited insight into her shortcomings.”

The panel concluded it was ‘unrealistic’ for Mrs Shepherd to embark on retraining as she had retired from the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust last year.

Striking her off the register was therefore the only appropriate sanction, the panel ruled.