A NEGLIGENT nurse who put two seriously ill patients at “unwarranted risk of harm” by delaying emergency treatment was given a more lenient sanction by regulators because the ward was understaffed.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde nurse Wendy Scott failed to alert her boss that a patient’s National Early Warning Score (NEWS), which is used by medics to assess the risk of sepsis, had risen.

She also failed to tell the ‘Hospital at Night’ team that Patient A’s haemoglobin - the body’s iron-rich protein in red blood cells - level had dropped to 69, according to protocol.

Another charge found proved states she failed to undertake regular checks, including the fluid balance and hourly observations.

However, her first disciplinary hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found Scott had not been adequately supported during the shift due to understaffing.

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The regulator said it was “unusual” for one nurse to be caring for two seriously ill patients and said this would be “understandably challenging.”

The NMC said: “Patient A and Patient B were put at unwarranted risk of harm by Ms Scott’s failure to appropriately escalate and record information and her poor communication to colleagues and the subsequent potential delays in treatment this may have caused.

But added: “Ms Scott had not been adequately supported during the shift due to understaffing.”

The incidents happened during one night shift in March 2016. The hospital was not named in the inquiry papers but the location was listed as Renfrewshire.

The NMC initially issued the nurse with a conditions of practice order which means she is allowed to continue in the profession, subject to a number of requirements such as supervision.

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However, a more recent review hearing was told that she had not engaged with the process and has now decided to leave nursing.

She was issued with a six-month suspension order.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the nurse was “no longer in our employ.”