Carer Put Faith in Spirit and Oils, Hearing Told; 'ALTERNATIVE HEALING USED INSTEAD OF NHS PATIENT PLAN'

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, near Prestatyn, with her husband.

At a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing in Cardiff yesterday, relating to five charges dating back to 2006, she admitted using the oils on elderly patients' bedsores and ulcers instead of prescribed wound dr S essings.

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

But she denies disposing of necrotic tissue into a general use bin in a patient's room 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 - called patient A - rang her anonym-ously 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.

"During the review, 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."

The hearing was told patient A was totally immobile, in her 70s and "quite a frail lady" with a "small build".

The NMC panel was told Mrs Mascarenhas also used the aromatherapy treatment on a separate patient - patient B - who was admitted to the home in August 2009 with a serious ulcer.

Mrs McEvoy said the treatment hadn't been sanctioned by a multi-disciplinary nursing team as is necessary - something Mrs Mascarenhas denies. …