Starship nurse's registration axed for not giving 'young and vulnerable' medication, failing to check on them

Starship Hospital.
Starship Hospital. Photo credit: File

An Auckland nurse who failed to undertake checks on "young and vulnerable" patients and give them their medication has had her registration cancelled for three years.

The New Zealand Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal considered several charges against the now-former Starship Hospital nurse, who has name suppression, and ruled her conduct wasn't a "one-off" or temporary judgement lapse. 

Several colleagues presented evidence to the tribunal, describing how the nurse wouldn't visit wards nor leave the nurses station.

One colleague said the nurse wrote in a patient's notes that she'd made observations and administered antibiotics during a night shift, but the mother of the patient later confirmed this did not happen.

The nurse tried to defend her actions, saying she undertook observations and administered medicine as recorded in the patient notes.

She said she was an "honest and competent nurse" and rejects allegations she made false entries.

The tribunal says the nurse's failure to observe her responsibility as a registered nurse was concerning. The nurse was censured and ordered to pay 40 percent of the tribunal's costs, amounting to more than $86,000.

Conditions on her employment or supervision would also be needed for her to practice again, the tribunal says.