THE FAMILY of a man residing in a care home has been left "disturbed" after a nurse in charge failed to call him an ambulance in a time of medical emergency. 

Brian Murphy, who was caring for the pensioner at Avonbridge Care Home in Hamilton, also failed to flush the pensioner's catheter when it was due to be cleaned.

The resident had recently returned to the care home from hospital after being treated for urine sepsis. 

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After being discharged, he took unwell throughout the night and stopped breathing. A decision was made to transfer the resident from his chair and into a wheelchair so that he could be conveyed to a bed.

A carer who was assisting Murphy told how the elder “appeared to droop to the left side again”. They were unable to transfer him successfully to the wheelchair so a decision was made to place him in a comfortable recliner chair.

During this time of emergency, Murphy failed to carry out full clinical observations. Instead, he said that he would "keep an eye" on his patient. 

Later on in the evening, another carer carrying out checks noticed that the man had stopped breathing again and ran to get Murphy's assistance. 

Upon her return, Murphy failed to carry out any clinical observations and, instead, called his patient's daughter at 1.30am because he believed the man was going to die. 

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The incident was heard before the Nursing and Midwifery Council's Fitness to Practise Committee after the man's disturbed daughter raised a complaint about the nurse's behaviour.

After an investigation, the council ruled that Murphy should have called an ambulance for the resident as his health was rapidly deteriorating. 

Murphy stated it that it was not his intention to "cause delay in treatment or harm" to his patient 

He told the council: "I wanted the resident to be as comfortable as possible and for his family to be present if he died. I now realise that this was not the correct procedure to follow and if a similar situation were to arise then the correct procedure to escalate to the emergency services should be taken.

"I now know that in panicking I did not present a professional manner which would have left the family doubting my abilities as a nurse.

"Although I acted in a way that I felt best protected the resident’s dignity by allowing them to remain in a comfortable homely environment I now understand this was not the correct procedure."

A report found that the patient was placed at "unwarranted risk of harm".

However, the Fitness to Practise Committee said that Murphy had engaged with them and had reflected on his mistakes on the day. There has been no evidence of repetition of the behaviour.

Murphy was suspended for a period of six months.