A NURSE from Gwynedd has been struck off after she changed the clinical notes of a patient who was in her care after he had died.

Helen Marie Powell, a registered mental health nurse since 2008, was handed a 18-month interim suspension order, followed by a striking-off order, at a Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise hearing on March 4.

She admitted all seven of the charges put to her, having been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council in September 2020, when she was working in the substance misuse service.


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The hearing was told that Ms Powell had been the named nurse for a patient – referred to as Patient A – since March 2018, until his death on March 30, 2019.

But during this 12-month period, she failed to complete Patient A’s clinical notes in an accurate or timely fashion, before retrospectively altering them in April 2019.

Ms Powell had written in Patient A’s notes that she had offered him an appointment when she had not, before incorrectly suggesting that a colleague had recorded the wrong dates.

She was also told that she had “intended to mislead the Coroner’s Court”, as Patient A’s records were to be used as evidence in the inquest into his death.

The witness statement for the inquest which Ms Powell was asked to write about Patient A, meanwhile, was described as “disjointed” and “not flowing”.

Indeed, her line manager noticed that “the dates were not quite right; they jumped from year to year and back again”.

Ms Powell was then interviewed in December 2019 as part of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s disciplinary process.

In respect of the retrospective entry, she said: “I know that I did wrong. I wasn’t thinking rationally and I was stressed out.”

Ultimately, the health board concluded that Ms Powell altered dates “to allow a suggestion of clinical activity that did not occur on these dates, and that this was done in order to falsify a required coroner’s report”.

Ms Powell was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing held in June and August 2020, and has not worked in a nursing capacity since June 2021.

The fitness to practise panel found that Ms Powell had displayed “premeditated and sustained dishonesty”, and had shown a “lack of insight” into her failings.

It added: “Although Ms Powell’s actions haven’t put patients at unwarranted risk of harm, falsifying records could have caused psychological harm and distress to the patient’s family.

“Fortunately, the evidence she had falsified was detected and not in fact sent to the Coroner’s Court.”

Ms Powell did not attend the hearing on March 4.