December 7 2013 Latest news:
EXCLUSIVE By Amie Keeley
Thursday, August 29, 2013
A senior doctor has condemned the Whittington Hospital for sacking a “talented and highly skilled” nurse who was wrongfully accused of fraud during a botched disciplinary.
Andrea Guy was dismissed from the hospital in 2009 for allegedly administering chemotherapy to patients without being qualified to do so, and adding her name to a special register which lists nurses who are permitted to give the cancer treatment.
An employment tribunal upheld the hospital’s decision, but it has now emerged the evidence on which the case was based was “fraudulent or incorrect”.
This week the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said Ms Guy was “fully competent and experienced to provide the treatment” and it dropped any action against her.
Retired consultant haematologist and medical director Dr Norman Parker, 63, who worked at the Whittington Hospital in Magdala Avenue, Highgate, for more than 30 years, has also spoken out to defend Ms Guy after what he described as a “botched” disciplinary process.
He said an internal investigation into the incident failed to uncover the truth and he has called on the Whittington to apologise to Ms Guy, a nurse of 20 years.
He said: “I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the hearing. She was a very confident nurse and the patients had enormous trust in her. The Whittington investigation was flawed. Odd things going on were very evident early on.”
He told the Ham&High he knew of the nurse’s innocence but his concerns were repeatedly ignored by hospital bosses.
Dr Parker says he was even sent for a psychiatric assessment by the hospital when he kept objecting to the nurse’s suspension.
Ms Guy’s dismissal came after she could not attend an internal disciplinary hearing due to ill health and consequently nobody gave evidence in her defence.
This week the NMC dropped a misconduct hearing against her. A report published by the NMC states Ms Guy had been certified to give chemotherapy treatment to patients since 1995 and became an assessor of other nurses’ competency to give chemotherapy in 1998.
Although she did amend the register, she believed she was correcting a mistake.
The report concluded: “It appears that the register that has been given to the NMC may be a fraudulent or incorrect copy.”
Ms Guy is now working at another hospital but has taken a significant pay cut because she had a long break in service.
Dr Parker said: “The hospital should apologise.
“Some things that have happened can’t be put right but they should look again at what happens when people become unwell and can’t attend their disciplinary hearing.
“They put a ban on her speaking to hospital staff and that meant I couldn’t go to her and say what had happened. It was just a botch.”
A spokesman for the Whittington said: “The process followed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council is independent of any actions taken by the trust.”