A FORMER unit manager at a Latchford care home has been sanctioned after a misconduct hearing found that she had placed vulnerable residents with dementia at risk of harm.

Karen Rooney failed to keep appropriate care records for residents while in the post of dementia unit manager at Three Bridges Nursing Home and failed to supervise an unregistered foreign nurse while she was administering medicines.

In total, eight sanctions have been imposed upon Mrs Rooney after a Nursing and Midwifery Council misconduct hearing.

An investigation at the Nook Lane home was sparked in December 2014 due to concerns, and an audit of residents’ medical notes identified that Mrs Rooney had not supervised an unregistered Romanian nurse while she was administering medication to seven patients on 46 occasions.

Further concerns saw the home’s deputy manager carry out a review of patients’ medical plans and discrepancies were found – 11 plans by Mrs Rooney lacked detail and were not updated between August and December 2014, though they should have been reviewed monthly.

Mrs Rooney, who was employed at the home from September 2012 until her resignation in February 2015, admitted a total of 19 charges and faced an NMC misconduct hearing last week which found her fitness to practice was impaired.

Four of the charges related to her previous employment at Mersey Parks Care Home in Liverpool, charges which included not ensuring adequate care was provided to a resident with a pressure sore.

An NMC report into Mrs Rooney’s misconduct said: “The registrant was the unit manager at two separate care homes and therefore responsible for the care provided to vulnerable residents who had dementia – the registrant’s actions in both care homes placed the residents at risk of harm.

“Whilst the registrant admitted her action in failing to supervise the administration of medication, the registrant lacked insight into her practice and the seriousness of the harm to residents.

“As a result of the registrant’s failings she has brought the reputation of the profession into disrepute – nurses are expected to act safely in the best interests of patients and when this does not happen the public’s confidence in the profession is undermined.

“Making the safety and wellbeing of patients her first concern is a fundamental tenet of the nursing profession which the registrant, by her deficiencies in this case, has breached.

“The actions of the registrant represent a serious departure from the standards expected of a registered nurse – she put a number of vulnerable patients at unwarranted risk of harm and caused damage to the reputation of the nursing profession.”

Mrs Rooney, who was not present or represented at the hearing, made a full admission of her misconduct to the NMC in a letter dating May 19.

It read: “I fully and honestly apologise for putting the nursing profession into disrepute and fully understand I allowed myself as well as my patients to be put at risk.

“I feel I should never have taken a management role on as such a junior nurse at the time the allegations were made – I feel now I ran before I walked as one would say.

“However, I have gained a lot more experience since all the allegations were made against me and have fully engaged throughout the process of the investigation.

“I am fully willing to cooperate with the NMC until I am deemed as a competent practitioner and I sincerely promise not to take another management position until the NMC and myself feel I am competent to do so – even if that means I never work as a manager again.

“I want to be the nurse I have longed to be since a small child.”

Eight sanctions imposed on Mrs Rooney for a period of nine months included that she must not work as a manager or deputy manager in a clinical setting, she must confine her practice to that of a band five registered nurse with her current employer, Waverly Care Home, and she must meet with her line manager at least once every two weeks to discuss her performance.