A nurse who dragged a dementia patient to her room and then administered a potentially lethal dose of sedation later admitted she was, “not fit to practice.”

Carol Picton also tilted the elderly woman’s bed, effectively restraining her and preventing her from leaving her room.

Industry watchdogs described the nurse’s actions as “deplorable” and abusive.

A witness described hearing the patient screaming after being dragged by her arm back to her room.

They discovered that her bed been tilted to lower her head beneath her bent knees with the bed guard rails up. 

Ms Picton administered Haloperidol, an anti-psychotic treatment without checking the correct dosage. When the elderly woman spat the drug out she gave her more without considering how much she had ingested and raising the risk of an overdose.

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She was employed by NHS Lothian in the stroke unit at Western General Hospital at the time of the incident and was referred to nursing regulators by a manager after a colleague raised the alarm.

An inquiry found that the elderly woman had wandered out of her room and was was attempting to enter other patients’ rooms.

A charge that Ms Picton “forcefully dragged” the patient back to her bed by the arm was found proved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).


She then administered a sedative twice without the patient’s consent using a using a 2ml injection syringe rather than an oral syringe.

Another nurse who was assisting and provided evidence during the inquiry said he was shocked by her treatment of the patient.

He said the nurse had lowered the bed guard rail and placed her left hand under the woman’s jaw so she could not move her head and administered the medication with her right hand.

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He described how she filled a syringe to its maximum and did not check the amount of medication she drew up on both occasions.

A panel of the NMC said the nurse had shown an “reckless disregard of safe administration of medication”. She also failed to record the dosage on the patient’s notes.

They said: “The registrant gave Patient A  too much of the medication within a short period of time and this could have led to over sedation which can in extreme cases lead to death.”

The NMC said the nurse’s actions were “likely to cause risk to patients in the future” if they were not addressed.

The investigation noted that she had initially denied the allegations and had not shown any remorse for her actions.

The incidents happened on November  15 2017 and five charges against the nurse were found proved.

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The panel decided against imposing a striking off order, in favour of a year-long suspension, because her misconduct occurred “over a single shift, in the context of a long career as a registered nurse and because Miss Picton was not charged with assault or dishonesty.”

However it emerged that the nurse has voluntarily asked for her name to be removed from the register writing that she was “not fit to practice”.

The NMC said: “Patients and their families must be able to trust nurses with their lives and the lives of their loved ones. 

“Although there was no harm in relation to the registrant’s alleged actions,in my view, the actions of the registrant are clinically unacceptable, the  registrant allegedly administered medication more often than prescribed which could have led to a misinformed treatment plan and over sedation which can in extreme cases lead to death.”

The nurse is entitled to appeal the decision.