Accused nurse ‘could be intense’

Ex-Stafford Hospital chief nurse admits being ‘intense’ with staff

A former chief nurse at Stafford Hospital has admitted she can be “intense” with staff.

At a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) disciplinary hearing, Janice Harry denied bullying colleagues.

Mrs Harry described herself as “firm but fair” but said her sometimes “very straightforward” manner might be misinterpreted as aggressive.

She denies a chain of charges, including misconduct, dating from 1998 to 2006.

“Sometimes i will be able to be very straightforward and often it’d be read as aggressive nevertheless it is just not intentional,” she told the tribunal.

Mrs Harry faces charges concerning alleged failures to guarantee adequate nursing staffing levels and appropriate standards of record-keeping, hygiene and cleanliness, administration of medicine, provision of nutrition and fluids and patient dignity.

She has also denied allegations of bullying staff who raised issues of her – allegedly making a “stressful and unsightly” atmosphere which discouraged staff from reporting problems.

Denied shouting

Mrs Harry was asked to touch upon a claim that the “favourite expression” she used when discussing patients who were dying was to invite the nursing sisters whether there has been “anybody going to heaven in respect of the provision of the bed.”

“i’m really not sure I used those exact words, nevertheless it was a query that was asked,” Mrs Harry told the panel.

Mrs Harry insisted that despite her title she was not the road manager for any of the hospital’s ward nurses and she or he instead oversaw clinical standards around the NHS trust.

She has also denied shouting at staff.

Mrs Harry was employed by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and its predecessor, Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust, from 1998 to 2006.

From 1998, she was director of nursing and quality assurance at Stafford Hospital and in 2002 was appointed director of clinical standards and chief nurse in addition to director of infection prevention and control.

She denies misconduct.