Nurse wrongly told a relative patient had died

15th April 2010
Health Secretary Andy Burnham Visits the New Pinderfields hospital development today.
Pictured: The New Hospital.
PICTURES: Matthew Page
15th April 2010 Health Secretary Andy Burnham Visits the New Pinderfields hospital development today. Pictured: The New Hospital. PICTURES: Matthew Page

A nurse who told a family their relative had died when they were still alive has been sanctioned.

Virginia Torres was given a Conditions of Practice order for misconduct after a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel found her actions fell “short of what was expected”.

The panel was told that while working at Pinderfields Hospital in 2014, she left one nurse in charge of 39 patients and failed to spot that one patient had not opened his bowels for two weeks.

An NMC judgement, from the hearing in London which concluded on May 19, said: “The panel had careful regard to the context and circumstances of the matters found proved and determined that those facts found proved amounted to misconduct and that your actions fell short of what would be proper in the circumstances.”

The panel heard that Ms Torres, a nurse of 16 years, caused a granddaughter distress when she told them their relative had died when they were still alive on a date before 2012.

It was told she failed to carry out or record observations for eight hours on one patient, placing him “at risk of harm.”

Ms Torres was also found to have not effectively dealt with one patient’s low blood sugar levels in 2014.

In the same year, the hearing was told she failed to check that a patient’s cannula had been correctly inserted, which meant drip fluids were going into their arm instead of the vein for nearly 12 hours.

She was present at the hearing and was represented by Laura Stephenson.

The NMC judgement said: “The panel recognised that witnesses for the NMC gave evidence that, at the time of these incidents, it had been a stressful experience working on the ward due to the understaffed environment.”