Nurse with more than 30 years experience accused of missing suspected child abuse injuries
A NURSE with more than 30 years experience is facing allegations that she failed to investigate a series of injuries on a six-week-old baby, suspected to have been caused by his parents.
Deborah Kendell was working at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely last year when she allegedly failed to spot injuries, including a broken arm, on the baby boy after he was brought in for a routine check-up.
At a hearing held by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London on July 31, a panel heard that the baby’s mother informed Kendell that the bruising had occurred during the night.
It is alleged that Kendell, who had previously had a 34-year unblemished record, made no attempt to investigate the claims or injuries any further and instead advised the mother to go and see her GP.
The panel was told that, two days later, the baby was referred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge with bruising to his hand and face as well as a suspected broken arm. Both parents were arrested and social services were called in.
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In addition, the council also alleged that Kendell made an “inadequate record” of her appointment with the baby and his mother when they visited on March 22, 2011.
Kendell, who was suspended from her position in the aftermath of an investigation,
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was represented at the hearing by James Tunley, who was acting on behalf of health workers union Unison.
At the hearing, Mr Tunley argued that the suspension should be replaced with an “interim conditions of practice order”, meaning Kendell could return to work under a limited caseload, while working under the supervision of a health visitor.
The council disagreed however, arguing to the panel that the interim suspension should remain in place due to the serious nature of the allegations and for the “protection of the public”.
Ruling on the case, the panel decided to allow Kendell to return to work under close supervision because she had “demonstrated some insight” into the shortcomings in her practice.
The panel imposed a number of restrictions on Kendell however, including a requirement to be supervised at all times.
A date for a hearing to fully examine the allegations against the nurse has not yet been set.