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Nurse struck off after death of disabled man

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Lorraine Stevens, 61: Struck off (pic. WNS) 

A NURSE has been struck off after a patient died from downing a bottle of washing up liquid at a care home.

Lorraine Stevens, 61, didn’t raise the alarm when the man drank from the bottle – but instead made him drink several glasses of water to dilute it.

The patient was vomiting and frothing at the mouth, but Stevens waited nearly three hours to tell anyone else that he was unwell.

And when she did finally speak to her manager Stevens failed to mention how long he had been ill for, the misconduct hearing was told.

The disabled man – referred to only as Patient A – died the next morning.

Case presenter Gregory Wedge said: “Patient A reached through an open kitchen window and grabbed a bottle of washing up liquid, from which he drank an unknown quantity.

“The washing up liquid was promptly taken away from him and it is alleged that he was given glasses of water to drink.

“About 15 minutes after the incident, Patient A allegedly began coughing, vomiting and there was some foam at his mouth. He was given more water and continued to cough and vomit for 30 to 40 minutes.”

Mr Wedge said Stevens was the only qualified nurse at Begelly Bungalow in Begelly, Pembrokeshire, which housed four people with learning disabilities.

Patient A, who had been at the managed bungalow for just four months before his death, suffered brain damage at birth and had a history of trying to drink dangerous liquids.

But Stevens didn’t raise the alarm for two-and-a-half hours after he drank from the washing up bottle, and when she eventually did still failed to tell her manager the incident had happened hours beforehand.

The man collapsed at the bungalow around 8pm, some ten hours after consuming the liquid, and died in hospital early the following morning on July 13, 2013.

The Nurses and Midwifery Council also was told Stevens later mocked up risk assessment form for Patient A on the day his family came to collect his belongings.

The form said kitchen cupboards should be locked at the bungalow – but she didn’t point out it was written after his death.

Mr Wedge said Stevens had acted “dishonestly”.

He said: “She should have admitted that there was no risk assessment in place, rather than falsifying clinical documents in an attempt to create the impression that there had been one.”

Dyfed Powys Police investigated Stevens in connection with the man’s death, but no charges were ever brought to her or employers Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Panel chair Monica French told the hearing in Cardiff that Stevens’ actions “increased the risk of harm” to her patient.

She also said Stevens’ decision to leave her shift early on the day, leaving the “deteriorating” man to be cared for by staff without medical training, placed him at “an unwarranted risk of harm.”

Miss French said: “Stevens failed to ensure that Patient A was safe and to provide him with the high standard of care expected of her as a registered nurse.

“In addition, her dishonest actions in respect of the risk assessment were inconsistent with her obligations as a registered nurse.

“There was no evidence before the panel that Stevens had any insight or remorse into the potential gravity of her actions and omissions or their impact.”

Stevens, from Pembroke Dock, was given a struck off the nurses register, and will not be able to reapply for five years.

Speaking at her home, she said: “I don’t want to talk about it.”

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Appeal after woman sexually assaulted on cycle path near Haverfordwest

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POLICE officers in Haverfordwest are appealing for witnesses after a woman was sexually assaulted at approximately 4.30pm on Sunday (May 16).

The woman was walking along the cycle path between Haverfordwest and Tiers Cross when she was approached by a man who threatened and assaulted her, before walking away towards Haverfordwest town.

The male is described as a white male, between 5ft 4 and 5ft 11 tall , normal build with a welsh accent. He has short dark hair, a beard and a moustache, brown eyes, and wearing light blue jeans, navy/dark blue jersey with grey sleeves. Anyone who saw a man matching this description in the area between 3.30pm and 5pm in the afternoon.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

The cycle path is currently closed while the investigation continues.

Detective Superintendent Jayne Butler, who is leading the investigation, said “Incidents of this nature are extremely rare in the Dyfed-Powys area. The public may see an increased presence of police officers in the coming days as police investigate the incident. Anyone with concerns or information that could help our enquiries can speak to those officers or contact police. While a man was quickly arrested we would still like to speak to anyone who saw a man matching the above description in the area yesterday afternoon.”

Anyone with information which could help the investigation is asked to contact police. This can be done online at bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet endorses STEP Fusion application

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL’S Cabinet have today endorsed proposals from Cllr Paul Miller (Cabinet Member for Economic Development) to further progress the nomination of a Pembrokeshire site to host a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) fusion power station in the county.

Working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the proposed site is adjacent to the existing energy facilities on the South Shore of the Haven waterway.

If approved, the facility will initially host research with the ultimate aim of developing this technology which could offer a virtually limitless source of clean electricity by copying the processes that power the sun.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development said: “I am pleased my Cabinet colleagues endorsed this important programme of work. The Haven Waterway has provided livelihoods, underpinned by fossil fuels, for thousands of Pembrokeshire families, mine included, for more than 50 years. It’s my job to help ensure the waterway continues to provide high skilled, engineering, science and technology jobs for the next generation of this county – and so linked to our focus on climate change (and in addition to our existing multi-million pound commitments to supporting wind, wave and tidal clean power generation) my team have been exploring whether we can also support the development of clean, green fusion technology.

“It’s very early days in the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s site selection process but we’ll provide regular updates as things progress.”

•       STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant;
•       It is a UKAEA programme, currently with £222m funding from the UK Government to produce a concept design by 2024: https://step.ukaea.uk/

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Re-opening of indoor hospitality and attractions at Milford Waterfront

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RESTAURANTS and indoor visitor attractions in Milford Waterfront are welcoming the return of indoor services from today.

The re-opening of indoor dining allows all restaurants at Milford Waterfront to seat customers indoors. As well as all restaurants on the Waterfront now being able to offer this service, the brand-new Foam Domes overlooking the Milford Haven Waterway are able to open, with bookings being taken from the 19th May.

Indoor visitor attractions are also allowed to re-open. This includes the Waterfront Gallery, which is open today and Phoenix Bowl & Pirate Pete’s Adventure Play which is making preparations to open from Wednesday 19th May. Also, Milford Museum, which has had a new rendered exterior finish, is preparing to open for the end of May.

Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager for Milford Waterfront commented: “We are delighted to see the re-opening of indoor hospitality and visitor attractions here at Milford Waterfront. Each business has their own safety and social distancing measures in place and we kindly ask that you respect and adhere to these for your own safety, and that of others. We hope you enjoy your visit to Milford Waterfront and stay safe!”

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