Nurse given warning after admitting drinking wine during shift

Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Nursing and Midwifery Council. - Credit: Archant

A nurse has been given a five-year caution order after she admitted drinking alcohol before and during a night shift at Papworth Hospital.

Louise Eyles, who was working on the Varrier Jones Ward at the time, had two glasses of wine with dinner on March 23, 2015, before her shift started at 7.30pm.

She then drank a further quarter of a bottle of wine while on her break.

At a disciplinary hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the panel heard that Miss Eyles went on a break around 12.45am on March 24, before colleagues found a bottle of wine next to her bed around 2am and struggled to wake her up.

Miss Eyles, however, denied that a sighting of a further bottle in her handbag was wine, instead insisting it was water.

“The panel determined that your actions have brought the profession into disrepute and that you breached fundamental tenets of the profession,” a post-hearing report noted.

The panel also found Miss Eyles “failed to provide the care expected” of her and that she had “let down” her colleagues and employer.

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After assessing the case though, it was decided this was “a single, isolated incident” and that a suspension order would be “wholly disproportionate”.

“By imposing a caution order, the panel is not dismissing the gravity and seriousness of your conduct,” the report concluded.

“Consuming alcohol prior to your shift, and again during your shift, are very serious actions.”

Miss Eyles accepted that the public would be “horrified” by her behaviour, and showed “significant remorse” for her actions which took place “during a difficult period in her life”.

The post-hearing report noted: “You have shown significant insight into the circumstances surrounding the incident in question and have remediated your actions by taking the necessary steps when faced with personal challenges.

“The panel already determined that it is highly unlikely that you will repeat your actions in the future.”