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Three struck off over nurse's 'inappropriate conduct' at nursing home

A male nurse had ‘inappropriate physical contact’ with a patient while lying in her bed; two others failed to intervene.

File photo
File photo
Image: Horia Varlan via Flickr

THREE NURSES HAVE been struck off the Register of Nurses by the Nursing Board of Ireland’s fitness to practice committee, after two of them were found to have failed to intervene when a third had inappropriate physical contact with a patient.

New documents published by the board detail the reasons why nurse Stuart William Cummings, matron Emelina Makinano Navale and manager Ann Teresa Connolly were all removed from the register.

Their removal came after they were found guilty of professional misconduct relating to incidents at an unnamed nursing home between February and July 2005.

Cummings had been employed on night duty at the home for that six-month period, during which it was found that he “regularly inappropriately hugged and/or kissed residents in the said home.”

On one unknown date Cummings had lay either in or on a female patient’s bed, later repeating this act while the patient was naked.

On subsequent occasions he lay in the bed while partially undressed or with his trousers down. Later, while the pair were both partially undressed, Cummings laid the woman’s hands on his genitals.

The committee found that Cummings was under the influence of alcohol on more than one occasion while he was on duty, occasionally bringing alcohol into the nursing home and drinking it while on the roster.

Its findings also discussed how Cummings failed to disclose the reasons for his sacking, or his alcohol problem, when applying for jobs elsewhere.

Connolly and Navale failed to undertake any adequate investigations of allegations against Cummings’ misconduct, and failed to notify the Nursing Board or the HSE.

Connolly was also found to have failed to contact the patient’s family or GP, or the Gardaí, and had failed to arrange a medical exam for her. Navale was criticised for failing to document an incident where she had observed Cummings in bed with the patient.

Decisions to strike off the names of all three nurses were confirmed by the High Court last December, but had not been published until now.

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Gavan Reilly

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