Nurse struck off for having 'no regard' for vulnerable 2lb premature baby
A nurse has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council after she 'flipped over' a 2lb baby boy and slammed his incubator door without 'any regard for his condition'.
The NMC panel heard that Valerie Batterbee yanked a blanket from under the baby at Peterborough District Hospital and 'did not seem to care' about his vulnerability.
The Peterborough Telegraph reports the tiny boy had been born 13 weeks' prematurely and had a broken leg.
Batterbee was looking after him as he recovered from hernia surgery in January, 2008.
The chair of the panel, Linda Parkin, told the hearing that the baby was 'highly vulnerable' and 'totally reliant on the one-to-one care of Mrs Batterbee'.
She said: "The panel noted that Mrs Batterbee evidently had other things on her mind at the time of the incident, namely issues in her personal life, but that does not excuse her behaviour as she was on a position of trust with professional accountability for the well being and care of Baby A."
The hearing was told that Batterbee also lied and told a colleague that she had received emails from members of the public complaining about her work - allegations the panel determined she had made up.
They also found that Mrs Batterbee had previously put patients at unwarranted risk of harm, and had brought the profession into disrepute.
A colleague of Batterbee's, Patricia Webster, told the hearing that she had seen her flip the baby over and close his incubator with such force that it was heard from the other side of the ward.
"Normally when you close the incubator door, you do it so you don't make a noise," she said, "She didn't seem to care - she just shut it in a very abrupt manner and it wasn't considered or careful."
Mrs Webster added that she 'observed Val flipping the baby over'.
"She didn't turn him considerately, and she didn't have a care for what the baby was feeling or hearing," she said. "She didn't seem to have any regard for his condition or his vulnerability."
Mrs Webster reported her concerns and Batterbee subsequently admitted to her bosses that she had turned the baby over 'faster' than she should have, but denied treating him roughly.
The hospital's human resources manager Pamela Rimmer told the hearing she had received complaints from other staff about Batterbee's attitude and general mood in 2008.
Linda Parkin ruled that the panel considered Batterbee's misconduct to be 'fundamentally incompatible with continuing registration'.
Batterbee denied all the charges put to her. She now has 28 days to challenge the panel's striking off order.