Name the Seven Nurses Who've Been Struck off, Demand Patient Groups

Daily Mail (London), September 4, 2007 | Go to article overview

Name the Seven Nurses Who've Been Struck off, Demand Patient Groups


Byline: SANDRA MURPHY

ANGRY patients groups last night called for the 'veil of secrecy' overnurses who have been struck off the medical register to be lifted.

They claimed the body which regulates the nursing profession is obsessed withsecrecy and called for greater transparency in the future.

Their comments came after it emerged that complaints against nurses had doubledsince last year - with seven banned from ever treating patients again.

New data from the nurses watchdog, An Bord Altranais, also shows several otherswere censured after a series of investigations uncovered patient abuse, drugtheft and prescription forgery.

However none of the struck off nurses has been named, and only general detailsof their offences have been made public.

As the number of fitness to practise inquiries being held into the conduct ofregistered nurses is spiralling, campaigners called for changes to be made.

Sheila O'Connor, spokesman for Patients Focus, said there was an urgent needfor greater transparency to reassure the public, claiming 'a veil of secrecy'had descended over An Bord's decisions.

'An Bord Altranais was the most secretive organisation I have ever comeacross,' she said 'They are more secretive that the health board ever were. Wehad contact with them specifically to do with the Dr Neary case.' StephenMcMahon, chairman of the Irish Patients' Association also said it was vitalpatients had confidence in those treating them.

'I would express serious concern over the procedures that nurses go throughbefore being struck off the register,' he said.

'For example, if a doctor is being struck from the register he has to go to theHigh Court and in that case his name will come in to the public domain.

'If this is not happening with nurses then there is an issue there abouttransparency. I would be surprised if nurses were barred without going to thehigh court,' he said 'There may only be seven nurses involved but when youthink of how many patients these could have treated in a year, it is importantto tackle misconduct and encourage people to report complaints.' An BordAltranais received 61 new complaints against nurses last year. …

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