Whittington nurse guilty of misconduct after discarding head injury patient’s medical notes

Proscovia Nakaggwa Sendijja has been found guilty of misconduct. Photo: Polly Hancock

Proscovia Nakaggwa Sendijja has been found guilty of misconduct. Photo: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A nurse will be suspended for a year after throwing away the medical records of a patient with a dangerous head injury.

The Whittington Hospital Picture: Steve Parsons

The Whittington Hospital Picture: Steve Parsons - Credit: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES Steve Parsons

Proscovia Sendijja, who worked as a staff nurse at the Whittington Hospital, appeared before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) last week.

She admitted throwing away the medical records of a drunk patient – referred to as “Patient A” – who fell and was driven to the Whittington on the night shift of March 1 and 2 last year.

And she admitted re-writing the notes onto a new document and forging a doctor’s signature.

The NMC found she carried out these actions in order to hide the fact that Patient A was given an extremely low Glasgow Coma Score (GCS), indicating his head injury was very severe, and that she failed to flag this up with a doctor or senior nurse.

The NMC panel told Sendijja: “Your actions were motivated by a desire to conceal that a GCS score of 8/15 had been recorded and not acted upon.”

Sendijja had been supervising a student nurse, Titania Dawkins, a witness at the hearing.

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Ms Dawkins assessed Patient A, giving him a GCS of eight at 23.40pm and 12.10am – which indicated he was extremely unwell and required urgent medical intervention.

She told Sendijja twice but her mentor failed to alert other staff.

Patient A vomited at around 12.30am, and he was attended to by a senior nurse and doctor, before he was rushed to the trauma department with a brain haemorrhage.

Sendijja crossed out student nurse Ms Dawkins’ GCS notes on Patient A’s medical records.

She replaced the eights with 10s, claiming she had found Patient A less unwell.

Sendijja then discarded the old medical notes and started afresh on a new document.

The new document had no record that the student nurse had found a GCS of eight.

The panel said Sendijja was “on the cusp of receiving a striking off order”.

But it recognised the misconduct related to one incident and she had remorse and insight into why her actions were inappropriate.