Nurse has no case to answer, hearing finds

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A nurse who filed a report into a patient’s death, saying she wasn’t on duty when she was, made an ‘innocent mistake’ and does not have a case to answer, a hearing has concluded.

Susan Elaine Worthington, who worked for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust was the subject of a disciplinary board at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in London.

It was alleged that while she was employed by the Trust she:

•Wrote a report, dated June 15 2010, as part of an internal investigation into the death of Patient A, which stated she was not on duty on May 15 2010, when she was.

•Therefore her actions were dishonest.

•She gave evidence to the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Patient A that she was not on duty on May 15 2010, when she was

•Therefore her actions were dishonest.

However the panel heard that Ms Worthington had looked at the wrong rota when making her statement to give evidence at the coroners court and her actions did not amount to dishonesty.

They said it had been an “innocent mistake”

A report into the hearing said: “...the evidence did no more than demonstrate that when Ms Worthington gave evidence to the Coroner’s Inquest that she was not on duty on 15 May 2010, when in fact she had been on duty on that day, she had done no more than make an innocent mistake. Such a mistake could not amount to misconduct.”

The hearing concluded: “The panel had found that there was no evidence before it from which it could conclude that Ms Worthington had been dishonest.

“Although it had determined that there was some evidence to support charge three as drafted, the panel’s view was that in the circumstances the incorrect evidence she gave to the Coroner fell far short of evidence sufficient to support a finding of misconduct.”

Ms Worthington worked at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital. She had been employed from the Trust since 1996 before being dismissed in November 2012.