A CIRENCESTER care home nurse waited more than three and a half hours before ringing an ambulance for an unresponsive patient who later died, a hearing has heard.

Paulina Omoose Abiade, formerly of the Paternoster Care Home, admitted that she did not request medical intervention for the elderly female patient as quickly as she could have done during the hearing at the Old Bailey in London on Friday, February 21.

The frail patient, referred to in the trial as Resident A, was admitted to the Cirencester care home on June 3, 2011 after being treated at Cheltenham General Hospital for arthritis of the joints.

On the morning of June 4, 2011 Resident A’s condition was said to have “deteriorated” overnight and that she looked pale and was refusing to eat her breakfast.

Abiade, who was working as the nurse in charge, was informed that the pensioner had become unresponsive at 8.40am but waited until 12.15pm before ringing for an ambulance.

As no resuscitation directions had been left for the patient, Abiade instead called the woman’s husband at 10.05am, 10.45am and again at noon but to no avail.

She eventually rang 999 shortly after midday but, by the time the ambulance had arrived, the patient had already died.

Stephen Barker, chairman of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s panel at the Old Bailey, said that Abiade’s actions had breached the “fundamental tenets” of the nursing profession.

“The nature of your conduct means that the reputation of the profession has been called into question,” he said.

“You put a patient at unwarranted risk of harm by not following the policy of the trust and not calling for an ambulance when you first found Resident A unresponsive.”

Nigerian-born Abiade was given a one-year caution by the NMC at the hearing and was told that she would not lose her job as a registered nurse at Miranda House care home in Royal Wootton Bassett.

It was heard that during the hearing the nurse apologised unreservedly for her actions and demonstrated to the panel what she would do if a similar situation arose.

Mr Barker said: “You have been working for almost three years since the incident without further incident and provided the panel with a positive reference from your current employer.

“For all of these reasons the panel was of the view that you are unlikely to repeat your past misconduct and that therefore the risk of repetition is low.

“However your misconduct was serious and a resident was put at risk of harm. The panel therefore considered that your misconduct was such that the public interest requires a finding of impairment.”