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Nurse sacked after refusing to admit patient to mental health hospital

Sally Mays
Sally Mays Image credit:

A nurse has been sacked from their role after they refused to admit a 22-year-old woman with severe mental health conditions to a specialised units just hours before she tried to take her own life.

Sally Mays was denied being moved to Miranda House in Hull by Paddy McKee despite suffering from mental illness.

McKee has now lost his job following a hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ms Mays took her own life in July 2014 after Paddy McKee and a second nurse from Humber NHS Foundation Trust crisis team failed to transfer her to hospital despite being a suicide risk.

An inquest held over eight days in 2015 concluded Mays died from an overdose and mechanical asphyxia.

May’s parents Andy and Angela heard their daughter’s life could had been saved if she had been admitted to hospital.

The court was told a Yorkshire Ambulance took 99 minutes to reach Mays flat in Hull, when she was taken to hospital her mental health deteriorated over the last few days of her life.

It was advised by three nurses from her community team and her psychotherapist she should stay in hospital with a care plan.

But the suggestion was overridden by McKee and a second nurse despite Coroner Professor Paul Marks carrying out a 'lamentable' assessment.

Police were called when Mays started banging her head against a wall in distress and tried to strangle herself.

There was a ‘stand-up fight’ outside Miranda House between officers and the two nurses who tried to make the medical staff to change their minds and admit Mays into the hospital.

After Mays was refused entry she was taken back home where she passed away.

Professor Marks said the action taken was ‘neglect’ and she 'would have survived and not died when she did'.

He added:  'For the avoidance of doubt, had Sally been admitted, she would not have died that day.'

Angela said: 'The imposition of the maximum sanction of a striking off order to ensure that McKee never practises again is what we have sought over the past seven years.

'It is important no other patient suffers the abject psychological torture and cruelty he inflicted on Sally when she was begging for help.

'He afforded her no care, compassion, kindness or human dignity.

'The sanction imposed by the NMC sends out a very important message about the standards of practise required of mental health professionals.

'For us as a family, the past seven and a half years have been utterly harrowing. We will never be able to come to terms with the details of the unconscionable behaviour of those, so called 'professionals' responsible for Sally's care and whose actions ultimately directly contributed to her death.'

In a statement the Humber NHS Foundation Trust said: 'The trust undertook its own investigation at the time and has implemented significant improvements to its processes and strategy since 2014, to reduce the likelihood of any similar incidents occurring in the future.

'While we do not comment on individual cases due to confidentiality reasons, it is extremely important to us that we communicate directly with those affected.'

If you are struggling with mental health visit the Mind website.