QE2 midwife who was under the influence of alcohol given suspension order

QE2 Hospital

QE2 Hospital - Credit: Archant

A midwife who was under the influence of alcohol while at work at the QE2 Hospital has been banned from nursing for a year.

Zoe Harris was last week given a 12 month suspension order by a disciplinary panel.

Officials from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard Harris was under the influence of alcohol at work in May 2010, and ruled she could have put patients at risk.

In July the following year, she was sent home after a colleague said she smelled alcohol on her breath, but the second allegation was not proven.

On the second occasion, Harris said she had drunk two glasses of wine the night before, but was not under the influence when she was on the ward.

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That day she failed to monitor the fetal heart rate of a patient, and also failed to monitor or record the patient’s temperature, blood pressure and pulse.

Harris was dismissed from her job in January 2012.

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The three-day hearing also heard that Harris had been banned from driving in July 2009 for failing to provide a breath sample.

She was given a 20 month driving ban.

A panel report said: “The panel was mindful that your clinical failings occurred on a single day and that you turned up for work under the influence of alcohol on a single occasion.

“These must be considered in the context of a midwifery career which lasted approximately eight years, up to the point of your dismissal, and the high esteem in which you were held by your colleagues.”

For the full story and reaction, see the Welwyn Hatfield Times, on sale now.

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