The Sunday Post (Newcastle)

Nurse claims he has pleaded with NHS bosses to report patient’s death to police 22 times...six years on he is still fighting for the truth

Medic battles to prove his innocence and help grieving family

- By Marion Scott CHIEF REPORTER

A nurse off work on full pay for six years after being accused of involvemen­t in a patient’s death claims he has demanded NHS bosses report the case to police on 22 occasions.

Stephen McLaughlin, who lectured staff on allergy risks, claims he was made a scapegoat over the 2017 death of a dementia patient who was repeatedly given an antibiotic he was severely allergic to.

Questions remain around the death of Eddie McCluskey, 88, who passed away at Inverclyde Hospital in Greenock after developing an agonising rash and a lung infection that his family believe was caused by the antibiotic­s he was given.

McLaughlin, who did not administer the drugs, says six months after Mr McCluskey died he was accused of involvemen­t in the patient’s death. The nurse said: “I was accused of wilfully allowing Mr McCluskey to be given antibiotic­s he was allergic to, something which would be considered a criminal offence.

“I was the one person who had raised concerns with other staff over giving Mr McCluskey the antibiotic­s prescribed by a junior doctor because I knew he was allergic to them. Despite that, when I was called out of the ward to attend to another emergency, the patient was repeatedly given the antibiotic­s by other nurses.”

McLaughlin claims he repeatedly demanded bosses ask the police to investigat­e, but they have not done so.

An internal investigat­ion started after Mr McCluskey died, but McLaughlin says no action was taken against staff who administer­ed the antibiotic­s.

McLaughlin was suspended for a year. After his suspension, he returned to work for several months but was put on “special leave” as he continued insisting the police were called in. He is now on sickness leave, which he says he was told to take.

A recent occupation­al health review for NHS Glasgow found that McLaughlin remained “unfit for work due to unresolved work issues”.

Three members of staff are now being investigat­ed by the Nursery and Midwifery Council over issues including a failure to comply with a duty of candour with the family of a patient and for dishonesty by knowingly using falsified documents and/or giving false testimony.

McLaughlin – not one of those being investigat­ed – said: “I’ve not worked in six years but I’m still on full pay while my bosses refuse to do either the legal or moral thing over Mr McCluskey’s death.

“His family deserves the truth. I did not kill their father. I would never have administer­ed a drug to a frail dementia patient if there were any allergy concerns. It’s my job to ensure things like that don’t happen.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) has not only destroyed my career, accusing me of something I did not do, Mr McCluskey’s family

still don’t know what happened. When you realise this is the same health board currently facing possible corporate homicide charges for the contaminat­ion scandal at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital that left adults and children dead, I hope the public judge them and not me for pushing to get truth out.”

Last week NHSGGC was formally named as corporate homicide suspects over the deaths of three children, including Millie Main, 10, and Gail Armstrong, 73.

McLaughlin added: “I’ve done everything I can to force NHS Glasgow to examine the evidence I have.

“I’ve been through disciplina­ry proceeding­s and appeals where officials refused to look at evidence. I’ve tried whistleblo­wing. I even confronted CEO Jane Grant face to face, but nothing appears to move the health board to do the right thing.

“What NHS official accuses a nurse of killing a patient and they don’t contact the police to investigat­e?

“I’ve been to the police to report what happened, but they said unless my employer filed a report or Mr McCluskey’s family did, there as nothing they could do.”

Despite insisting the case had previously been fully investigat­ed, NHSGGC said: “We have agreed to commission a review of the organisati­on’s handling of the issues raised by Mr McLaughlin to ensure appropriat­e processes were followed.”

They say the review is under way and will be completed in a few weeks.

 ?? ?? Dementia patient Eddie McCluskie died at Inverclyde Hospital in 2017.
Dementia patient Eddie McCluskie died at Inverclyde Hospital in 2017.
 ?? ?? Nurse Stephen McLaughlin.
Nurse Stephen McLaughlin.

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