Nurse alleged to have locked dementia sufferer in toilet
Fitness-to-practise inquiry retires to consider verdict in Dundrum nursing home case
Procesa Basa Robediso, who was employed as a nurse in Simpson’s Hospital nursing home, Dundrum, Dublin 16, between 2010 and 2013, is accused of professional misconduct and poor professional performance over allegedly locking an elderly resident in a bathroom. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
A fitness-to-practise inquiry has retired to consider its verdict in a case against a nurse who is alleged to have locked an elderly nursing home resident in a bathroom.
Procesa Basa Robediso, who was employed as a nurse in Simpson’s Hospital nursing home, Dundrum, Dublin 16, between September 2010 and April 2013, is accused of professional misconduct and poor professional performance.
Ms Robediso told the fitness-to-practise committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland she “never, ever” locked the bathroom door.
She said she had left the woman in the bathroom while she fetched clean items for the resident, who was “wet and a bit soiled”.
She said she then returned and put the resident’s trousers on to above the knee, after which point she left her in the bathroom as she believed her to be constipated.
Ms Robediso said she informed a health care assistant that the resident was still in the toilet before returning to her duties, although she could not now identify that individual.
The nurse said it was not inappropriate to leave the resident alone because, at that time, the older woman’s mobility was good, she had the freedom to “roam around” the nursing home and was able to go to the toilet unassisted.
She said the resident had a history of locking herself into rooms in the home.
However, Ciara McGoldrick BL, barrister for the chief executive of the nursing board, disputed a number of points in Ms Robediso’s evidence.
She said the resident, who was left alone for about 10 minutes, had dementia and was on a toileting regime and “should not therefore have been left unattended”.
Ms McGoldrick also disputed Ms Robediso’s claim that she had informed another staff member that the woman had been left alone.
The inquiry also heard evidence about an incident in March 2012 when Ms Robediso incorrectly administered a double dose of Camcolit, a lithium-based psychiatric drug used to treat bipolar disorder, to a different resident.
Ms Robediso told the inquiry she had not been aware the dose had been reduced from 800 milligrams to 400 milligrams as she had been off for a week before the incident occurred.
Ms McGoldrick said this position was inconsistent with contemporaneous records signed by Ms Robediso which indicated the nurse was aware the dose had been lowered prior to the error occurring.
Matthew Jolley BL, for Ms Robediso, said she was an experienced nurse against whom allegations had never before been brought, and said there was a “significant lack” of evidence in certain respects in this case.
In relation to the double dosage, he said Ms Robediso had admitted the error had occurred, but that this needed to be considered in the context of the incorrect dose being issued by the pharmacy.
The chair of the committee, Noel Giblin, said the committee would retire to deliberate on the matter and return on another date to deliver its verdict.