Camden and Islington nurse who gave suicidal prisoner razor blades escapes suspension

The former C&I nurse's actions led to an inmate slashing his wrists with razor blades. Picture: Nige

The former C&I nurse's actions led to an inmate slashing his wrists with razor blades. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A prison nurse who gave razor blades to a suicidal inmate has escaped being banned from the medical profession even though her patient then slashed his wrists.

Folasade Akinola, at the time a nurse for Camden and Islington NHS Trust (C&I), was found to have failed in her duty of care after freely handing over two razors to a “high-risk” individual on a 15-minute self-harming watch.

The disturbing incident, which took place at Pentonville prison in 2013, saw the mentally vulnerable prisoner left to return to his cell with the blades, unsupervised.

Having then slashed his wrists, it was only when he was spotted by prison staff that he was rushed to the Whittington Hospital in Archway to be given emergency treatment.

Last week, Ms Akinola appeared before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) where she was found to have failed to consult a care plan – indicating the prisoner was a self-harming risk – before handing over razors.

The panel said that the prisoner “required the highest levels of monitoring and care” and said the conduct of Ms Akinola “fell far below the standards expected of a registered nurse”.

But despite the NMC panel stating “there is a risk” that Ms Akinola might repeat her mistakes, she has been allowed to continue working as a nurse.

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The panel also said Ms Akinola had “not yet fully developed insight into [her] acts and omissions”.

It concluded a suspension order would be “disproportionate” and instead said Ms Akinola must simply formulate a “Personal Development Plan” with a mentor or supervisor, and meet with them every two months for a year.

A spokesman for C&I said: “C&I acted decisively and robustly immediately we became aware of the incident involving Ms Akinola.

“She was redeployed and restricted to a non-patient facing role under supervision of a senior nurse while an investigation took place.

“She was then summarily dismissed on the 28th November 2013 for an allegation of gross misconduct.”