Nurse who could not speak English well enough to care for patients at Norfolk hospital is struck off

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH - Credit: Nick Butcher

A nurse who worked at the county's busiest hospital has been struck off for a number of failings.

Cristina Manuela Martins Nunes Gaspar Pereira, who originally comes from Portugal, was employed at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) between January 12 and April 30, 2015.

But during that time it was found she did not complete patient observations, failed to give patients their medication, and when she did give medication did not do so safely. She also could not demonstrate the correct technique for bed bathing or washing a patient, could not complete patient records without help, and could not speak English well enough to work safely and effectively.

A hearing held by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) earlier this month heard of one example where on March 9, 2015 Ms Pereira gave one patient an injection to the stomach without closing the curtains around the bed or asking a visitor to step outside. A previous hearing in October last year found 'there remains a risk to the public as a result of Ms Pereira's lack of competence, and lack of ability to speak the English language to the required standard'.

Ms Pereira had been given the opportunity to prove she had passed the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a requirement for foreign nurses working in the UK, but did not do so.

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At the most recent hearing it was said: 'Since the last review hearing Ms Pereira has completely disengaged with the NMC. There was no evidence that Ms Pereira has complied with the recommendations outlined by the previous review panel and the panel was further of the view that she has not demonstrated that the identified concerns regarding her practice and knowledge of the English language have been remedied.'

Ms Pereira, who had been suspended for two years during the proceedings, did not attended the hearing. A spokesman for NNUH said: 'This former member of staff worked for NNUH for five months during 2015, but was dismissed during her probationary period because she failed to demonstrate the standards of knowledge, skill and judgement required to practise as a nurse. She was referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council in a timely manner.'

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