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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

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Cumbria nurse ‘made referrals without going through proper process’

A CHILDREN’S nurse “shattered” families’ hopes by making referrals for specialist care without authorisation or funding, a hearing was told.

Melanie Riley is also accused of telling parents to give their baby daughter the wrong dose of paracetamol while working for Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust.

She made a number of inappropriate referrals for children with disabilities or learning difficulties for specialist services without going through the proper procedures, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Kakoky Pande, for the NMC, told the hearing: “Ms Riley was employed by Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust as a well child community children’s nurse.

“On February 28, 2011 she was suspended from her duties pending an internal investigation. It was alleged that on October 28, 2010 Ms Riley was providing care for a baby seven-and-a-half weeks old.

“She advised the parents to give the baby 2.5ml of paracetamol a day. The advice given by Ms Riley was incorrect as this was a dose to be given post-vaccination but the baby was pre-vaccination.”

Riley is facing a string of allegations which are said to have taken place between November 2009 and February 2011.

She is also accused of failing to record the condition of a disabled child correctly in patient records.

“She provided information of the child’s disability which were not true,” Ms Pande said.

“The child was being treated for a high level of lead in his blood, he had experienced a devastating neurological event which had resulted in loss of speech, impaired mobility and paralysis on the left side.”

Riley failed to properly record the child’s condition and made a number of errors completing a disability allowance form, the hearing was told.

She is also accused of giving the parents of another patient “misleading information” and making a referral without proper authorisation, Ms Pande said.

She added: “It’s alleged that Ms Riley did not feel that the child was being properly treated and without reference from her team or a second opinion from another paediatrician she made a referral on behalf of the child’s family.

“This was inappropriate and she fed the parents misleading information.”

Consultant paediatrician Deirdre Boyce said Riley should have sought approval before making the referral so that the family’s hopes were not “shattered”.

Riley, who is attending the hearing, denies all the charges against her. The hearing continues today.

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