Nurse receives caution after lying to get a job and leaving a dead patient’s room streaked in blood

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News from the Bury Free Press
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A nurse, who was sacked from West Suffolk Hopsital, has been let off with a caution after leaving a dead patient’s room streaked in blood and lying to get a job at another hospital.

Miriam Chirisa-Munodawafa failed to tidy the room in the critical care unit at Manchester’s Christie Hospital after the death of a woman in September 2010, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

A visiting patient awaiting an operation found blood-soaked pillows, dirty bed linen and pills scattered across the floor the next day.

Hilary Corley, deputy ward manager, said: “There were pillows on the bed with blood on them. I’m not talking about little specks of blood - there was a lot of blood. I looked at the linen which I could tell was creased and used. The stains on the pillows were visible from almost the foot of the bed.”

Chirisa-Munodawafa denied but was found guilty of leaving the room in a filthy condition.

She had admitted failing to validate the late patient’s records in a timely manner.

Tim Mann, chairman of the council panel, said it was a single case of ‘negligence’ which did not amount to misconduct.

He said: “The panel considered that failing to clean the room properly was wrong. The room should not have been left in the state that it was found by the nurses on the day shift.

“However, the panel did not consider this to have been a reckless or malicious act on behalf of Mrs Chirisa-Munodawafa, rather merely negligent.

“There was no question of placing any patient at unwarranted risk of harm.

“The panel did not accept Mrs Chirisa-Munodawafa’s explanation that she had been to busy dealing with patient A to validate her observations at the appropriate times.”

Chirisa-Munodawafa also admitted that she wrote she was ‘seeking new challenges’ on her job application to the Christie Hospital, when she had earlier been sacked from West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Mann added: “Mrs Chirisa-Munodawafa has appeared before the panel, she has accepted that her conduct was dishonest and has expressed remorse for it.

“She has been open and honest with employers since the allegations.

“Although instances of dishonesty are always likely to be serious, the panel did consider Mrs Chirisa-Munodawafa’s case to be a the lower end of the spectrum of dishonesty.

“Although she was dishonest to obtain employment, she was driven by desperate personal circumstances.

“It did not involve any patient harm.

“The panel has already concluded that she is unlikely to repeat her dishonest behaviour.”

Chirisa-Munodawafa received a caution order for the maximum term of five years.