A nursing manager at the William Harvey Hospital has been struck off after falsifying patient medical records in order to clear bed space, a disciplinary hearing was told.
Michelle McClintock, 50, from Park Farm, also allegedly told colleagues: “I’m bored, who can we get rid of next?” and “I know how to get patients out the door”.
Meanwhile, another nurse accused her of treating elderly patients with scorn, stating: “They can **** in their own toilet at home, get rid of them so I have a discharge.”
McClintock first qualified as a nurse in 1988, and started working at the hospital in April 2000. At the time of the misconduct she was Oxford Ward manager, with a reported salary of £41,000.
The disciplinary hearing was held at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in London earlier this month, where it was revealed that two staff nurses and a clinical governance matron had raised concerns about McClintock’s conduct before her dismissal in July 2014.
The NMC panel was led by Sally Ruthen, who was told that McClintock would constantly use foul language within earshot of patients and colleagues, and on one occasion stated a patient was “bleeding like a stuffed pig” to describe a woman being treated.
They were also told that McClintock had completed fake details on checklists to make it look as though patients were ready to go home, when in fact they still needed hospital care.
NMC counsel Barnaby Hone said McClintock had “abused her leadership position for a period of eight or nine months” and “created an environment where patient discharge was a priority over patient care”.
The panel agreed that she had repeatedly dismissed the concerns of others and “dishonestly pursued her own agenda to improve the trust’s discharge rate” and had “compromised patient care by inaccurately completing documentation”.
They said McClintock’s actions did amount to misconduct, and panel chairman Sally Ruthen ordered her to be struck off the nursing register for 18 months.
McClintock did not attend the hearing, but was told she had 28 days to appeal.
Before the hearing she had emailed the NMC and stated: “I will await the outcome and accept whatever that may be.”
East Kent NHS Trust's (EKHUFT) chief nurse and director of quality Sally Smith said: “We acted immediately on whistleblowing by a member of staff which led to an investigation into the conduct of this individual and resulted in their dismissal in July 2014.
"Due to the serious nature of the investigation, we referred the individual to the NMC. We uphold the highest standards and have a robust process to help staff raise concerns.”