Infection controls breached by nurse

Borders General Hospital.
Borders General Hospital.

A nurse working in the Special Care Baby Unit at the Borders General Hospital has been given an 18-month conditions of practice order after making four breaches of infection control over three days during the Christmas period of 2015.

Cheryl Johnstone admitted failing to change gloves or wash her hands between changng a baby’s nappy and beginning a tube feed, placing clean sheets on a soiled bed, and dropping equipment on the floor and returning it to the shelf without cleaning it. On each occasion she was being directly supervised and no actual harm was caused.

A spokesperson for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, who imposed the order, said: “The Registrant [Ms Johnstone] admits that her conduct fell seriously short of the standards of behaviour expected of Registered Nurses. The Registrant further accepts that fellow practitioners would regard her actions as deplorable.”

In a statement to the council, Ms Johnstone said: “I am now a mother and I know how I would feel if I saw a nurse making the mistakes I did with my precious baby”.

Ms Johnstone, who now works as a services manager, will need to serve the conditions of practice order – which includes direct supervision, training on infection control and performance meetings – if she returns to nursing.