'Nurse Threw the Dead Flesh of Patient in Bin'

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON GASKELL

A CARE home owner interested in alternative treatments used aromatherapy oils to dress serious wounds without the approval of a nursing team, a standards committee has been told.

Marie Eva Lourdes Mascarenhas ran St Chamond's Nursing Home, Prestatyn, with her husband at the time relating to five charges dating back to 2006.

At a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing in Cardiff yesterday she admitted using the oils on elderly patients' bed sores and ulcers instead of prescribed wound dressings.

She also admitted allowing a patient to come to the home without a care plan.

But she denies disposing of necrotic tissue into a general use bin in a patient's room, inserting an ungloved finger into a patient's rectum without warning and failing to provide a pressure-relieving mattress in good, working order.

Yesterday Christine McEvoy - a lead nurse reviewer with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (UHB) since 2005 - gave evidence to the hearing.

She said in June 2006 a friend of a patient at the home - patient A - rang her anonymously expressing concern about the methods used by Mrs Mascarenhas.

Mrs McEvoy said: "She told me she was concerned Mrs Mascarenhas had used aromatherapy oils and alternative methods on patient A's wounds. I asked Mrs Mascarenhas why she had used alternative therapy. She told me she no longer followed patient A's NHS care plan because it did not work and so she used aromatherapy and spiritual healing.

"By applying aromatherapy oils she did not follow evidence-based practice and it should not be carried out on a resident that's funded by the NHS. …