Caution for OH nurse who faked blood pressure results

An occupational health nurse has been given a three-year caution order by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and has had his fitness to practise branded as “impaired” following a hearing into his conduct.

Paul Hair had been accused of faking firefighters’ blood pressure results in 2008 when working for Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service and failing to record blood pressure readings accurately.

The NMC panel in its conclusions in November agreed that Hair had fabricated results and had done so dishonestly.

“The registrant was an experienced nurse, who would know the importance of recording accurate blood pressure readings, particularly in the context of occupational health.

“The panel therefore is satisfied that he would have known that when he fabricated these readings his actions were dishonest by the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest members of the public,” it argued in its verdict.

Hair, in a written submission during the hearing, had conceded he had “developed sloppy habits” and lost motivation.

But the panel, in deciding on the caution order and finding of impairment, said it was satisfied the incident had not been an isolated one, as it had related to a total of nine patients over the course of two days.

Hair’s failure to accept that he had fabricated results, “displayed a total lack of insight in respect of his dishonesty” and that furthermore he had failed to “appreciate the potential risk of harm associated with this dishonest practice”, the NMC said.

While noting that no one had actually been harmed and that the matter had been pending for two years, Hair had “shown no remorse or regret” for his actions, the panel added.

Yet Hair was still employed as an OH manager and the hearing had heard “positive testimonials” about his current practice.

In light of this, along with issues of personal mitigation and the particular circumstances of the case, a three-year caution order was deemed “proportionate”, the council added.

A caution order goes against a person’s name on the NMC register and is disclosed to any employer who inquires about their registration for the duration of the order.

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