A FORMER nurse at Warwick Hospital has been suspended for six months after he failed to follow procedure when giving morphine to a dementia patient.
Andreas Karagiannis worked on Mary Ward at the Lakin Road hospital until 2012 when he was sacked for gross misconduct.
In March last year he was made subject to a conditions of practice order for a period of 12 months by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – meaning he could not administer controlled drugs without supervision from a senior nurse.
A hearing at the Old Bailey in London heard how in July 2011 Karagiannis had given morphine to an 82-year-old patient without the required presence of another member of staff.
Karagiannis had previously denied giving the drug as a sedative – which is an unlicensed use of morphine – maintaining it was to calm down the agitated patient and for pain relief.
However he did admit failing to keep accurate records and ensuring there was necessary supervision.
And following a recent review of his case, he has been given a further six month suspension order.
Although Mr Karagiannis did not attend the latest hearing, he sent a letter to the NMC in which he said he had “worked hard to achieve a peaceful, honourable life” and he had “paid dearly” for his actions.
He maintained he had not practiced as a nurse since the incident nor did he intent to in the future.
But despite this, a three-member panel opted to suspend Mr Karagiannis for six months from April 9 after concluding a risk of repetition remained.
In the report they said: “The panel notes Mr Karagiannis has expressed some remorse and it is evident he has some insights into his failings.
“Nothwithstanding the above…Mr Karagiannis has not produced any evidence he accepts full responsibility for his failings.
“Mr Karagiannis…does not seem to have fully considered the potential harm his actions could have had on patients and the adverse effects on his colleagues and on the reputation of the profession.”
Director of Nursing at Warwick Hospital, Helen Lancaster, said patient safety was the hospital’s number one priority.
She added: “In this instance to ensure safe practices were maintained we carried out a formal investigation into the conduct of the member of staff.
“This resulted in the individual being dismissed by the Trust in February 2012 and the case being referred by us to the NMC.”
She confirmed all processes were reviewed following the investigation and no areas of concern had been highlighted.