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Practice failed nurse by providing ‘wholly inadequate’ diabetes training, NMC finds



The NMC has found that a newly qualified practice nurse under a fitness to practise investigation was ‘failed’ by a lack of diabetes training from her practice.

The regulator heard last month that Hannah Killeen, who was on a preceptorship programme at Fernbank Surgery in Lancashire, did not conduct diabetic foot checks on more than a dozen patients in February and March 2018.

But the NMC panel found the practice had ‘failed’ Ms Killeen, who received ‘wholly inadequate’ and ‘limited’ diabetes training comprising of just one observation session. She had a mentor but was not allocated a replacement when that person retired in December 2017, the panel heard.

Although Ms Killeen emailed the assistant practice manager with concerns about carrying out the checks, she ‘didn’t challenge further’ because of a ‘management culture’ that was ‘resistant to challenge’, the panel said. Instead, she was ‘under some pressure’ to complete the checks.

The panel told Ms Killeen: ‘You admitted to the panel that you should not have carried out these checks without appropriate training but that at the time you were doing your best, oblivious to the fact that you were getting things wrong.

‘The practice failed in its responsibility to train you properly in this field before booking you in to undertake appointments.’ It told Ms Killian she was ‘simply’ doing her ‘best’ with the limited knowledge she had been given.

The panel said Ms Killeen could return to practise as a nurse with appropriate safeguards. The 18-month conditions of practice included:

  • Being directly supervised by a registered nurse at any time she is undertaking diabetic assessment and foot checks until she is signed off as competent by a senior nurse.
  • Working with her supervisor who must be a senior nurse to create a personal development plan.
  • Keeping the NMC about anywhere she is working or studying.

They found her practise was below the standard expected and patients were put at potential risk of harm, but that she has ‘apologised profusely’ and was willing to complete a return to practise course.

Nursing in Practice has contacted Fernbank Surgery for comment.