Nurse turned up '˜rambling, incoherent and struggling to hold an upright position' at St Leonards nursing home
A nurse who turned up to work '˜rambling, incoherent and struggling to hold an upright position' has been banned from practicing for a year.
Paul Teglas was the only registered nurse on duty at Kingswood House Nursing Home in St Leonards on September 13, 2017, but turned up with the smell of alcohol on his breath, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
A fitness to practise committee found that his actions amounted to misconduct and suspended him in order to protect the public.
The committee made its decision following a hearing on September 14, this year. The full report can be read here.
According to the report, Mr Teglas arrived at the home for a night shift under the influence of alcohol.
Located in Chapel Park Road, Kingswood House Nursing Home provided nursing care at the time of the incident for about 18 residents with mental health issues and challenging behaviour, including complex health issues.
Mr Teglas was meant to be in charge of the night shift from 8pm, but the committee heard that he was ‘intoxicated and incapable of taking the handover from the day shift’.
He took a breathalyser test, which detected alcohol, the report said.
The home manager was called out that night by a worried staff member.
They told the committee that Mr Teglas’ speech was ‘rambling and incoherent and his breath smelled of alcohol’.
The manager was quoted as saying Mr Teglas was ‘struggling to hold an upright position’.
He was sacked from the nursing home following the incident.
Mr Teglas admitted attending work on September 13, 2017, ‘whilst under the influence of alcohol’ and that ‘fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct’.
The committee found: “Mr Teglas’ actions in attending work while under the influence of alcohol, was serious and did fall seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse and amounted to misconduct.
“Nurses occupy a position of privilege and trust in society and are expected at all times to be professional and to maintain professional boundaries.
“Patients and their families must be able to trust nurses with their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”
The committee said Mr Teglas appeared to blame circumstances for the misconduct, rather than accepting full responsibility for his actions.
They found that while he admitted the charge, ‘he does not address his conduct or its potential consequences’.
They added: “He has not demonstrated any remorse.
“Mr Teglas’ misconduct was a serious departure from professional standards and an abuse of his position of trust.”
Mr Teglas was banned from practising for 12 months, after which another committee will reassess him.
An interim suspension order of 18 months was also imposed, in case Mr Teglas decided to appeal the verdict.
In this case he would still be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.
If there is no appeal, the 12-month suspension order would come into effect.