Dementia patients put at risk by nurse

Buckshaw Retirement Village
Buckshaw Retirement Village

A nurse has been suspended for six months after putting dementia patients “at risk of serious harm” and shutting one wheelchair-bound man in a room and leaving him to scream.

Ian James Maher admitted giving incorrect doses of blood-thinning drug warfarin to a 70-year-old resident with vascular dementia at Buckshaw Retirement Village, and not making accurate recordings.

Despite him claiming there was a “witch hunt” against him, it was also proved at a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing he had failed to treat residents with compassion or dignity.

The panel heard he left medication unattended, spoke excessively loudly to a wheelchair-bound resident, said ‘shut up’ or words to that effect, and placed the man in ‘time out’ when it was not appropriate.

A report concluded Mr Maher’s conduct “fell significantly short” of what would be expected of a nurse.

It added: “Mr Maher failed to provide adequate care and to treat one of the residents with kindness, care and compassion.”

They accepted he had not acted maliciously, but his actions may have resulted “from frustration on his part”.

Mr Maher, who qualified as a mental health nurse in 1990, was referred to the NMC by the home in September 2015 after two weeks of work.

A spokesperson for Hica Group, which runs the Retirement Village, said: “In Hica we have a zero tolerance policy to any poor care and support practice. The actions of Mr Maher were immediately reported to the agency who then took appropriate action.”