A FORMER staff nurse at Pendleside Hospice has been given an 18 month suspension following a Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing.

The panel was told that Lynn Richmond had made ‘a series of drug errors’ while working at the hospice, and had taken three ‘extended periods of absence’ due to chronic illness and other health conditions.

Bosses at the hospice said Mrs Richmond no longer worked there and stressed patient safety was ‘not compromised at any time’.

Brian Hartup, chief executive at Pendleside Hospice, said: “Pendleside has no comment about the NMC’s investigation of Mrs Richmond but we confirm that she no longer works at the hospice and that the safety of our patients was not compromised at any time during her employment with us.

“We are absolutely committed to achieving the highest possible standard of patient care and would like to take this opportunity to reassure those we serve, and our supporters in the communities of Burnley and Pendle, that the best interests of our patients and their families are our absolute priority at all times.”

Mrs Richmond had been a staff nurse on the inpatient unit at the hospice, in Colne Road.

Following the absence from work it was said that Mrs Richmond failed to attend work following her first shift after returning in November 2012.

Instead she sent a text message to her employer stating that she was unable to return to work and thought she would have to resign.

The hospice attempted to make contact with her, but having been unable to do so, treated the text message as her resignation.

In a report Gillian Fleming, chair of the NMC panel, said: “The panel noted that Mrs Richmond appeared to have been given considerable support from her former employer; however the allegations in this case are serious and relate to not just her health but to basic nursing competencies.

“The panel was particularly concerned about the allegations that in May 2012, a series of drug errors occurred within a short period of time, and that these allegedly included controlled drugs.

“Other allegations include poor organisation of her work and record keeping.”