Nurse used needles in care home toilet and failed to dispose of his bloodied paper towels

Lisden Care Home.

A Tayside nurse who took needles without permission and used them in a staff toilet has been struck off.

Andrew Cavanagh faced a series of charges over his conduct while working as a nurse between August and October 2015.

He was called to a hearing in front of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Although he didn’t attend in person, he admitted the charges.

While working for the Balhousie Care Group, Cavanagh took hypodermic needles belonging to the company, without permission, for his own use.

He used them on himself in the staff toilet of Lisden Care Home, in Kirriemuir.

Cavanagh also failed to ensure spillages of his blood were cleaned up and failed to dispose of bloodied paper towels within the toilet.

He additionally admitted that he was dishonest in knowing he did not have permission to take needles for his own use.

And Cavanagh also administered codeine phosphate to a resident on three occasions on October 2 2015, “which was atypical for the resident”, according to the NMC.

He then didn’t record a reason for this in the resident’s notes, didn’t check whether his actions had relieved any pain, and didn’t escalate the concern at any handover.

Cavanagh committed a similar offence related to codeine phosphate at Ruthven Towers Care Home, in Auchterarder.

The NMC said Cavanagh’s fitness to practice was impaired.

A report on the case said: “Mr Cavanagh misappropriated property belonging to the group and utilised it for his own use. In performing venepuncture on himself in the staff toilets and leaving blood residue, he caused infection control risks which could have impacted on other staff.

“Nurses are expected to be honest and trustworthy at all times and Mr Cavanagh’s repeated dishonest conduct in taking property which did not belong to him, without permission, fell far below this expectation.

“As honesty, integrity and trustworthiness are considered the bedrocks of the nursing profession, Mr Cavanagh’s conduct has breached fundamental tenets of the nursing profession.”

Cavanagh — who is understood to have moved away from the area — couldn’t be reached for comment.