Former nurse at Stevenage's Lister Hospital struck off

Outside Lister Hospital in Stevenage

Rita Josephine Hand, a former nurse at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, will be struck off the nursing register - Credit: Archant

A former nurse at Stevenage's Lister Hospital who "poses a significant risk of harm to patients" will be struck off the nursing register after administering medication which had not been prescribed.

Rita Josephine Hand, who has been a nurse since 1987, was referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council in October 2017 about her fitness to practise, with concerns raised about the administration of medication to five separate patients.

It was found that in August 2016, Mrs Hand administered strong painkillers to two patients that were not prescribed. It led to her employer, the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust - which no longer employs Mrs Hand - imposing clinical practice restrictions on her.

While subject to these restrictions, however, she administered an IV solution to a patient in October 2016 and morphine to two patients in March 2017 - all without authorisation.

Mrs Hand was suspended by the NMC in January 2020, following an interim suspension while the investigation took place.

Her suspension has since been reviewed three times, but the NMC's Fitness to Practise Committee panel said she has "demonstrated a lack of insight and remediation, and therefore poses a high risk of repeating her misconduct".

The panel said it has "no evidence that Mrs Hand has taken any steps to remediate her medicines administration skills or to develop her insight", and last week it moved to strike her off the NMC's register, banning her from working as a nurse.

Most Read

The panel said Mrs Hand has not engaged with the NMC since July 2020 and said: "In the absence of any evidence to demonstrate a willingness to address the concerns raised, the panel determined that there remains a significant risk of harm to patients."

It said the only sanction that will "adequately protect the public and uphold the public interest" is a striking-off order - the most serious sanction.

The striking-off order will come into effect on February 27, when the existing suspension order expires. A striking-off order lasts at least five years, during which time a nurse, midwife or nursing associate who’s been struck off the register may not apply to go back on.