Nurse struck off for gross misconduct after accessing patient’s record

Hospital
Hospital

A paediatric nurse for the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust has been struck off for repeatedly accessing a patient’s medical records with no justification.

Subiah Kousar Akram’s case went before the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London on charges that, on one or more occasion, she accessed medical records of ‘Patient M’ without clinical justification to do so.

The incidents happened on 43 different occasions between June 7, 2009 and August 7, 2011.

It was revealed to the panel that Patient M is a relative of Ms Akram but they were not on speaking terms following a family dispute around June 2009.

Patient M filed a complaint with the Trust about Ms Akram in July 2015.

She complained that since 2009 she had been hearing information about her medical history from family members and members of the community and that the medical information could only have come from Ms Akram.

The complaint triggered a Trust disciplinary investigation into Ms Akram.

A Patient Administration System (PAS) report was produced which showed the dates and times Ms Akram had accessed Patient M’s medical notes.

The panel noted that Patient M was not one of Ms Akram’s patients.

“As a paediatric nurse she had no clinical reason to access her records and the panel has neither seen nor heard any other possible explanation as to why Ms Akram accessed Patient M’s records,” it stated in the report of the disciplinary hearing.

The panel found that Ms Akram accessed Patient M’s medical records on numerous times with no clinical justification and it concluded that this amounted to numerous serious breaches of a patient’s confidentiality.

The panel decided that the correct course of action would be strike off Ms Akram due to her actions and lack of remorse.

They concluded: “Ms Akram’s actions demonstrated a sustained and serious departure from the relevant professional standards expected of a registered nurse.

“There was an abuse of position in relation to a family member’s medical records whereby Ms Akram violated Patient M’s right to confidentiality.

“The panel determined that the misconduct in this case was so serious that the public interest can only be satisfied by removal from the register.

“Furthermore, Ms Akram has shown a persistent lack of insight into the seriousness of her actions by failing to take responsibility and failing to apologise to Patient M.

“This led the panel to conclude that there was a high risk of Ms Akram repeating this type of misconduct in the future.

“In light of this the panel considered Ms Akram to pose a serious risk to the public and the wider public confidence in the profession.

“Taking all of these factors together the panel concluded that the threshold for a striking off order has been crossed.”