Hospital nurse is suspended following hearing

A NURSE who accused relatives of trying to kill a dying man when they asked her to give him pain relief has been suspended for a year.

Eileen Cutliffe burst into the bay where the family members were tending to the patient and shouted “I will not give morphine. Palliative care is not about killing people.”

The outburst happened moments after she had been asked to administer pain killing drugs at Kettering General Hospital, a hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard. The nurse did not check on the patient while the family were there, and no pain killers had been given to the distressed patient for 24 hours.

A string of charges against her were found proved at a misconduct hearing in central London, but the panel decided not to strike her off after finding Cutliffe’s mistaken beliefs were responsible for the blunder. Instead, she was handed a 12-month suspension.

Jennifer Humphrey said she had been on the receiving end of Cutliffe’s outburst when she went to visit her dying grandfather with other relatives in March 2009.

Miss Humphrey, who is also a registered nurse, said that she did not agree with the care her grandfather was receiving.

Rebecca Wood, for the NMC, said Cutliffe had a bad attitude that could not be fixed with extra training.

Panel chairman Catherine Elliot said Cutliffe’s failure to assess the patient led to his suffering and she did not treat his guests with respect.

Cutliffe was also found to have botched paperwork but cleared of allegations of recording discussions with a senior nurse.

Cutliffe did not attend and has not entered formal pleas.