The head of surgical nursing at Preston and Chorley hospitals is to go before a misconduct hearing, accused of attempting to gag whistleblowers.
Rachel Angela Sansbury has been asked to face a panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council starting on July 25, where she will face claims relating to dishonestly asking three colleagues to conceal or misrepresent the performance of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The allegations are that:
1. Around October 2012 she told Colleague A not to raise any clinical concerns outside the clinical Governance team.
2. Around October 2012 she told two colleagues to “keep their mouths shut” about the concerns and issues they were experiencing in Governance, or words to that effect;
b) Told one colleague that if people knew about the issues they had raised then the department would lose the gold standard that it had worked hard for
3. Asked a colleague to change the conclusions of investigations, in order to make them sound more favourable for the division/ department
4. In response to a colleague’s concern that staff were not recognising or under reporting incidents, said “don’t open that can of worms as you don’t know what will come out,” or words to that effect.
5. Told a colleague not to inform anyone a particular surgeon had dyspraxia and told them that if she told anyone that the surgeon had dyspraxia then he would be stopped from operating and waiting lists would increase
6. Her accusations were dishonest in that she asked her colleagues to conceal/ misrepresent information.
It is alleged that her fitness to practice is impaired by misconduct.
Karen Swindley, workforce and education director at the Trust said: “We would not comment on specific cases while an investigation is still underway, however we can confirm that we are supporting our member of staff through this process.”
If evidence is proved, there are a range of sanctions available to the panel. These include: no punishment, imposing a caution that would highlight concerns to potential employers, imposing conditions such as having to work under direct supervision, a suspension of up to 12 months, or being struck off the medical register.