A NURSE has been suspended for a year after she forged signatures to mislead an inspection team and pressured her colleagues to lie for her.

A fitness to practise hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found Sally Louise King unfit to practise because of her misconduct which put patients at risk of harm, and it suspended her for 12 months after she signed her colleagues' names on various paperwork.

Ms King, who was a nurse manager at Andover Health Centre Medical Practice, in Charlton Road, admitted to all seven charges against her.

The issues came to light following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in April 2018, when inspectors found paperwork relating to the administration of vaccines had been inappropriately signed between April 2018 and February 2019.

At a follow-up inspection on February 7, 2019, it was found that paperwork for a Typhoid vaccine was missing and it was alleged that Ms King had forged the signatures of three members of staff on various paperwork.

The nurse, who joined the practise in 1992, admitted what she had done to the practise manager.

A disciplinary hearing was held and Ms King was issued with a written warning.

However, the practise was then informed that Ms King had allegedly contacted two witnesses prior to her hearing and encouraged them to mislead the formal investigation by saying they had signed the paperwork.

It was heard that Ms King, who registered with the NMC in 1980, told her colleagues that the surgery could be closed down.

The NMC said: “This in itself could be considered as you placing undue pressure on both nurses to withhold information in an attempt to conceal your actions. In doing so, it could also be said that you put your own interests before that of your professional duty to ensure patient safety.”

The NMC found Ms King’s actions to be dishonest and said: “Ms King’s actions in this case are a serious departure from the professional standards and behaviour expected of a registered nurse.”

It added: “Nurses occupy a position of privilege and trust in society and are expected at all times to be professional. Patients and their families must be able to trust nurses with their lives and the lives of their loved ones and therefore it is imperative that nurses make sure that their conduct at all times justifies both their patients’ and the public’s trust in the profession. Ms King’s actions, although resulted in no actual harm to patients, had the potential to put patients at significant risk of harm.”

The nurse resigned from the surgery on July 12, 2019 and co-operated with the NMC’s investigation.

However, it noted that she did not provide a reflective piece to address “how her actions have affected her colleagues, the reputation of the nursing profession and the wider public interest”.

It added: “Therefore, the panel concluded that Ms King has not demonstrated insight into her actions, as set out in the charges.”

Ms King, who did not attend the hearing last month, was given a 12-month suspension order with a review.