Merseyside nurse struck off after neglect charge and patient death
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A Merseyside nurse has been struck off after receiving a suspended sentence for his role in serious injuries to a care home resident.
Agency nurse Ereck Koworera was sentenced to five months in prison, suspended for a year, after being convicted of wilful neglect at Liverpool Crown Court last April. After being charged with the offence in January 2023, Mr Koworera failed to notify Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) officials of his status.
A fitness to practise hearing held last week felt in a bid to protect the public, Koworera must not be allowed to work in nursing again.
A report released following conclusion of the two-day hearing said how in April 2020, a man known as patient A was referred to Hillside Nursing Centre, Huyton, for respite care. On the evening of April 8, he was found to have fallen in his room, but was unwitnessed.
As the member of staff in charge of the night shift, Koworera was called to assess patient A for injuries but failed to do so correctly. It was said the nurse had not realised in the fall, patient A had suffered a fractured hip or carried out further checks during the evening to establish if he had suffered a head injury.
At no point did Koworera call an ambulance. A nurse in charge of the day shift did so the next morning after being informed of the fall. Patient A died in hospital two days later for unrelated reasons, according to the report.
The matter was subsequently referred to the police, with Koworera charged with wilful neglect in January last year. He initially pleaded not guilty, before changing his plea.
The panel were told how earlier that month Koworera applied for revalidation onto the NMC’s register and in answer to the question as to whether he had received any police charges, cautions and/or convictions, he answered no despite being charged. He would have known he was duty bound to report this to officials.
Having changed his plea, Koworera was sentenced in April 2023 to five months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months; and to pay a victim surcharge of £122.
In determining whether Koworera was fit to practise, the three-person panel noted how his actions, resulting in conviction, “were serious and placed a patient at an unwarranted risk of harm.” The report said panellists had not been presented with evidence to suggest Koworera had “demonstrated insight into his misconduct and/or conviction” and he had failed to meaningfully engage with the NMC.
It added: “The only communication received from Mr Koworera was made in April 2023, at which time he made attempts to go behind the facts of the conviction. The panel noted that at no point during that communication did Mr Koworera attempt to address the seriousness of his failings and/or suggest how he would act differently should a similar situation arise in the future.
“The panel further noted Mr Koworera’s longstanding absence of any remorse and the obvious effects of his failings on Patient A’s family.”
It was felt Koworera’s misconduct was not an isolated incident as it had been followed by a “prolonged, repeated and deliberate decision” to not notify the NMC that he had been charged and convicted of a criminal offence. The report said how in the absence of any insight or remorse, the panel could not be satisfied that Koworera did not pose a significant risk of repeating the behaviour which resulted in his conviction and misconduct.
As a result, he was struck off, pending an appeal. This will take effect within 28 days if no appeal is lodged.