Kensington & ChelseaNews

‘Incompetent’ nurse with 40 years of service struck off for litany of failings

By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter

A nurse checked out medicine for a patient who did not exist and failed to help another who was choking ‘in a timely manner’.

The NHS nurse has now been struck off, with the nursing watchdog claiming he failed to engage with it.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said Thomas Richard Price failed to show up to the March 2024 hearing and should be removed from its registrar because he posed a continued risk to patients.

The watchdog said the nurse, who began practising in 1979, had failed to engage with the NMC or shown any evidence of improvement since he was sanctioned in November 2022.

A report from the NMC read: “His conduct is now fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the NMC Register.

“The panel therefore determined that it was necessary to take action to prevent Mr Price from practising in the future and concluded that the only sanction that would adequately protect the public and serve the public interest was a striking-off order.”

The report showed the nursing watchdog attempted to contact Mr Price multiple times but received no response.

Mr Price had been handed a conditions of practice order following a number of incidents in three hospitals across England between February and October 2019.

The order, which forced Mr Price to undertake more training and report to a senior nurse, was extended during a review in July 2023.

Mr Price was found to have failed to take a patient’s blood test or properly record pain medication treatment during a night shift at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Kensington and Chelsea in February 2019.

During a stint at Blackpool Victoria Hospital between August and September of the same year, he failed to respond ‘in a timely way’ to a choking patient or show enough knowledge of preparing morphine.

He also left medication unattended in front of a patient and checked out drugs for a patient who did not exist and claimed it had been reviewed by a colleague, who also did not exist. He also failed to carry out observations on patients and accurately record information.

In October, he signed off on medication for a patient at Medway Hospital who had not been cannulated and administered potassium to a patient without setting up a pump or connecting a cardiac monitor.

An excerpt from an earlier report found that while there was no evidence Mr Price’s actions caused actual harm to patients, his conduct had put them at risk of significant harm.

The panel also accepted that Mr Price has undertaken a significant number of training courses but determined the majority of them were irrelevant to the concerns identified and that some were out of date.

They also said Mr Price showed ‘very limited insight’ in his actions and quoted the nurse saying that his thinking at the time was ‘no big deal, I have lots of experience, (a big mistake)’.

The panel also expressed concerns about Mr Price’s intentions to give up nursing, as stated in an email from Mr Price in December 2022. The report read: “Mr Price has stated in an email dated 21 December 2022 that he no longer wishes to practise as a registered nurse.

“Further, he has also stated that he would consider a return to practice in healthcare. In all the circumstances, the panel could not be sure he no longer wished to practise as a nurse, nor did it have a clear explanation from him as to his future intentions.”

Mr Price will be struck off the NMC roll from April 29, when a previous sanction against the nurse lapses.

Picture: The Royal Marsden Hospital in Fulham Road where Mr Price worked (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Amanda Slater

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