Leeds gynaecology nurse put patient at risk of infection with unsterilised equipment for surgery

Medical equipment stock image
Medical equipment stock image
Have your say

A Leeds nurse assisting a gynaecology procedure put a patient having surgery at risk of infection because of unsterilised equipment, a misconduct hearing was told

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has ruled that Georgina A Twumasi-Ankrah should be given a ‘conditions of practice order’, meaning she now has to report to the NMC every so often as a result of the misconduct, over failings while working for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

The London hearing was told that Miss Twumasi-Ankrah was working as a band 5 perioperative practitioner, informally known as a “scrub nurse”, at the Trust.

She had registered as a nurse in 2003 and in 2006 started working at the Trust.

In April/June 2016 Miss Twumasi-Ankrah was placed on an informal performance plan due to concerns about her adherence to protocols.

But it was in June 2016, when she was the designated scrub nurse for Patient A’s pelvic keyhole surgical procedure, that the incident happened, at the day surgery unit at St James’s Hospital.

The charges included that Miss Twumasi-Ankrah had incorrectly stated to colleagues that equipment sterility had been confirmed prior to patient A’s surgical procedure commencing.

The procedure required a gynaecology combo tray and a gynaecology laparoscopic extras tray. It is alleged that Miss Twusami-Ankrah failed to follow proper procedure for ensuring the sterility of the GLE tray, in that she did not check the contents and sterility of the GLE tray before Patient A’s procedure started.

She was told: “This omission meant that you failed to identify that the GLE tray you brought into the sterile fields for Patient A’s procedure was an unsterile tray which had been opened earlier in the day for Patient C’s surgical procedure. Patient A was therefore exposed to a risk of infection.

An investigation was then conducted by the Trust.

The patient was caused great distress and exposed to a real risk of serious unwarranted harm and had to take a course of injections and

provide blood samples in order to assess whether she had contracted a potentially life changing infection.

The patient then had to wait three months before learning the results of those blood tests.

The NMC panel’s judgement said: “As well as the conditions of practice order, you must undergo infection control training programme which is

relevant to working in a theatre setting and ‘must place yourself and remain under the supervision of a workplace line manager, mentor or supervisor nominated by your employer.”

She was given a Conditions of Practice order for 12 months and an Interim Conditions of Practice order for 18 months.

Other conditions were made including informing them of any changes to her work situation.

The hearing was told that Miss Twumasi-Ankrah was now working as a health assistant and had made admissions to some of the charges at the

outset of this hearing.

She had also demonstrated visible and genuine remorse for her actions and was of previous good character.