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Gloucestershire Business News

Forest nurse struck off over Covid jab malpractice

A Forest of Dean nurse who began her career in 1986 has been struck off after an investigation into the administration of Covid jabs.

Diana Morris, who worked as a Registered nurse for the Dockham Surgery in Cinderford, has been told by the governing Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) that she can no longer practise. An additional interim order has been served for 18 months, which would ensure she could not return to work during a possible appeal window.

The NMC probe into allegations of misconduct stemmed from a tip-off letter sent to authorities in the wake of accusations that Ms Morris gave Covid-19 vaccinations to friends and family of colleagues who were not eligible at the time. Ms Morris's claims that she was acting to prevent vaccine that would otherwise have been wasted were not accepted.

The charge centered around that the nurse had been aware that 29 patients had been vaccinated on February 11th, 2021, and that she had "attempted to conceal that 11 of those patients were not eligible".

Mr Morris, who had been registered as a prescriber since 2014, did not attend the hearing, but gave a statement in which she said: "I have learnt from all of this is never to put so much trust in a colleague to this day I deeply regret not going back to the hub with [Colleague A] to return the remaining full vial of covid vaccination but I had no reason to doubt her, and I would like to say at no point did I falsify and patient documents all paperwork was returned to the hub as requested. 

"I worked so hard throughout the pandemic going to do home visits and see patients within the surgery too there was no let up and little support it was mentally draining."

She added: "I have an impeccable record prior to this and have always prided myself on being an excellent nurse with a very caring and compassionate nature, and would certainly never knowingly put any patent at risk, I now feel ruined have lost everything my home my job my reputation and am now also struggling mentally for which I now have prescribed medication from my GP.

"I currently am not working and haven't done so since I would like to return to some form of caring work in the future if at all possible as I have always loved working and caring for people."

Against her statement, the NMC heard that "Ms Morris did not disclose that she facilitated the administration of vaccinations by Colleague A. The Surgery became aware following an anonymous letter to the Surgery in relation to Colleague A. During the investigation into Colleague A, it was discovered that Ms Morris was involved in facilitating the vaccinations. Ms Morris was aware of Colleague A's actions and did not inform the Surgery that she was aware."

At the time of the incident, the criteria to be eligible for the vaccine was that a patient had to be housebound and fall within cohort 4: age 70 and over, people in nursing homes, the clinically vulnerable and frontline health and social care workers.

The NMC said that protocol insisted the list of housebound patients to be vaccinated would be generated at the Surgery each day. The clinician attending the patient would be expected to ask the patient a series of questions before administering the vaccine. These would include checking the patient's identity and eligibility for the vaccine, checking whether they had recently been infected with Covid-19, asking whether they had any allergies. Despite this strict process, patients who were not eligible were vaccinated and Ms Morris failed to alert the surgery.

Potential risk was therefore heightened for some recipients, the council heard: "At the time, the Covid-19 vaccine being administered was "Oxford AstraZenaca". Patient G was not eligible due to them not being housebound and not within cohort 4. The Oxford AstraZenaca vaccine was high risk to administer to Patient G due to their age and they should not have been given this type of vaccine due to health risks.

"Had Patient G been vaccinated when their cohort was eligible, this information would have been available, and they would not have been exposed to the risk of receiving a vaccine which was potentially dangerous for them."

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