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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Cumbria nurse's midwifery council case begins

A NURSE accused of referring a family to social services for refusing ‘urgent’ treatment for their daughter has had the charges against her dropped.

The child was fit and well and Melanie Riley, a nurse with Charity Well Child in Cumbria, faced a series of allegations relating to being overzealous in her practice.

She was also said to have failed to consult colleagues before taking action between November 2009 and February 2011.

But a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel found Riley had no case to answer because she was right to contact the authorities.

The child had suspected Crohn’s disease and her parents had a history of refusing to cooperate with medical services.

Panel chair Najrul Khasru said: “In the circumstances, it would have been inappropriate not to raise concerns of this nature.”

Riley was also accused of exaggerating the condition of another child suffering from lead poisoning when filling out a disability benefits form.

She said he had suffered a “devastating neurological event” and said his condition was “likened to someone who has had a stroke”.

The boy was left completely reliant on his parents for the most basic actions, but his condition was not thought to be permanent.

Derek Duffy, for Riley, said Riley was expressing a professional opinion.

He added the physiotherapist's report said he would require “maximum assistance for the foreseeable future”, and this charge was also thrown out by the panel.

A further charge of exaggerating the child's condition in an annual report was also thrown out because the NMC produced the wrong documents.

Riley still faces charges of referring to a child to external services without consulting with his GP, and of threatening a GP with a formal complaint if he didn't turn up to a meeting.

The nurse claims the mother had self-referred to the specialist residential centre in Tadworth, Surrey – 300 miles from his home in Cumbria – and that she had only helped her with the paperwork.

“He had very complex needs and there was nowhere in Cumbria that could have met his needs,” Riley told the hearing.

The nurse is accused of giving the woman false hope when she was not a suitable candidate, but she said “she always knew she might not be accepted”.

The child's GP alleges that she would have been required to countersign for funding for any care that the child received outside of the trust.

Riley admits another charge of telling the parents of a seven-week-old baby to give their daughter the wrong amount of paracetamol.

The hearing continues.

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