Negligent nurse struck off after patient death

By Gillian Crotty

A nurse has been struck off for negligently failing to identify that a patient who died at Stafford Hospital was diabetic.

Gillian Astbury, aged 66, was taken to the hospital after suffering a stroke in April 2007. Nurses Jeannette Coulson and Ann King failed to carry out blood-sugar level tests on Ms Astbury, and she died 48 hours later as a result of not receiving any insulin.

The nurses were found guilty of misconduct by a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel, and Ms King was struck off, while Ms Coulson received a three year caution. Ms King was found to have lied about administering medication and changing dressings, and Ms Coulson made admitted to swearing at some of her colleagues.

Ms Astbury's daughter Kate Beeson welcomed the outcome of the panel hearing, but said "nothing can truly reflect the severity of the nurses' negligence." She called on others who have suffered, or had loved ones suffer, as a result of medical negligence to "make their voices heard" and make sure "those responsible are brought to account".

Medical compensation claims have a double benefit. They help victims of clinical negligence to get the compensation they need to cover their medical care and loss of earnings, and they also help expose the failings of a medical care centre or specific employees.

Most medical negligence claims that result in a compensation award, also result in a review of policy and procedure where the incident took place. The more people speak up about poor medical care, the more opportunity hospitals and care centres have to improve their quality of service.

If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of medical negligence in Northern Ireland contact one of the claims solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt to discuss what compensation you could be entitled to by calling 0800 840 9289.