Naas nurse probe extends to Tallaght Hospital

By Deborah Condon

A review has begun at Tallaght Hospital, following confirmation that the nurse at the centre of a major Garda investigation into allegations of professional misconduct at Naas General Hospital, also worked there.

According to a spokesperson for Tallaght Hospital, an 'incident review is underway at the moment'.

The nurse was suspended on July 2 from Naas General, having worked there since January of this year. It is alleged that she may have over prescribed medicines, which were not prescribed by a doctor. Under law, controlled drugs must be prescribed by a doctor. These drugs would normally be dispensed from the hospital pharmacy on foot of a prescription.

As part of the investigation, Gardai last week exhumed the body of 77-year-old John Gethings from Baltinglass, who died at Naas General in March. The results of toxicology tests on the body, which will indicate what medicines were administered to Mr Gethings, are due in the coming days.

There are also allegations relating to two other patients, one who died of liver failure and another who is alive and has since been discharged from hospital.

The Nurse-On-Call agency, which employed the nurse, has confirmed that she worked for three other hospitals apart from Naas.

As well as the Garda investigation, an investigation by the South Western Area Health Board is also underway.

Meanwhile An Bord Altranais, the body responsible for policing the behaviour of nurses, is also expected to meet in the coming days in order to discuss the allegations. It has the power to temporarily suspend the nurse, in the public interest, pending the outcome of a formal inquiry by its Fitness to Practise Committee.


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