A Boston nurse has been suspended for a year and a half after allegedly swearing at a nursing home resident and “dragging” her. A meeting of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s “Fitness to Practice Committee” took place in relation to complaints made against Nicola Lovell, a registered nurse at the time of the allegations.
A substantive committee hearing concluded on March 31 and concluded that the charges against Lovell were proven. The charges surrounded an incident on June 8, 2020, which began when a resident of Westfield Nursing Home fell.
Following this, Lovell allegedly said “for the fuck’s sake” to the Resident, an accusation which the committee meeting deems to be proven despite Lovell herself claiming that she said “duck”. After that, another charge against Lovell was that she then picked up the resident “using a clinically inappropriate technique in that you and a colleague lifted [the resident] when it would have been clinically appropriate to use a patient lift.”
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After lifting her off the floor, the charge against Lovell was that she “dragged” the resident to her room, at which point she allegedly said to the resident, “You could sleep now.” The charges were primarily based on the statements of two witnesses who gave evidence at the hearing, one of whom was a fellow carer at Westfield and the other was the operational support manager for Country Court Care, which runs the home.
A spokesperson for Country Court Care said: “Following the reported incident at Westfield Nursing Home in Boston in June 2020, Country Court conducted a full and thorough investigation. The investigation revealed that the standard of care provided by the nurse involved did not meet the high standards expected in Country Court nursing and care homes.
“The nurse was terminated from her position at Westfield Nursing Home. At a hearing in March 2022, the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Fitness to Practice Committee gave the nurse an interim suspension order of 18 months to be reviewed after a year Country Court, the operator of Westfield Nursing Home, is disappointed with the actions of the nurse involved, but acted quickly and decisively Processes and a comprehensive and robust action plan are in place to ensure that this type of incident does not happen again.
Lovell herself was not present at the hearing, but she denied the charges, including one that she dragged the resident, which Lovell described as a “fabrication of the truth”. Despite this, documents detailing the findings of the Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing state: “The panel noted that Witness One’s account remained consistent throughout his documentary and oral testimony. The panel found that the testimony of witness one was credible and persuasive as she provided a clear account of what she witnessed.”
After finding that all of the charges against Lovell were proven, the panel concluded that she should be suspended as a registered nurse for a period of 18 months and that she would be notified in writing. The Nursing and Midwifery Council said: “The panel found that [the resident] was endangered and could have suffered physical and emotional harm as a result of Miss Lovell’s conduct.
“Miss Lovell’s conduct had breached the fundamental principles of the nursing profession and had therefore brought her reputation into disrepute. The panel concluded that public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of deficiency was not made in this case, which involves a vulnerable elderly resident who had fallen.
Country Court Care’s Director of Operations, Helen Richmond, added: “The standards of care provided by this particular nurse were not to the high levels we demand in our care homes. It is important to recognize that lessons learned from this incident, we take our duty of care very seriously.
‘We took immediate action and can reassure people that this was a one off and isolated incident in a care home which provides very high standards of care and support.’ Lincolnshire Live has attempted to contact Miss Lovell for comment.