A NURSE working in a Somerset hospital has had his contract ended prematurely after a misconduct hearing exposed a long list of his severe errors in the workplace.

Mr Aji Asok, formerly of Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, failed to attend his hearing in late 2023, despite a Notice of Hearing letter being sent to his email address with the required notice.

Ms Aziz, on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), submitted that Mr Asok had voluntarily absented himself from the hearing.

She also said that there had been no engagement at all by Mr Asok with the NMC in relation to these proceedings, and as a consequence - the hearing was not adjourned in attempt to secure his future attendance.

The charge against Mr Aji Asok stated that he 'failed to demonstrate the standards of knowledge, skill, and judgement required to practise without supervision' in several incidents (as follows) between July 2021 and January 2022.

Mr Asok's incompetence was said to have began on September 8, 2021, when he was found to have failed to listen to patients, failed to identify a patient’s abdominal pains and need for laxatives, and even did not turn on a patient's nebuliser.

His actions quickly became much more of a problem, as in October he failed every section of his simulated OSCE exam.

During one calamitous morning drug round on October 26, Mr Asok had to be reminded to obtain patients' consent prior to prompting, whilst also not having washed his hands.

The following week, he attempted to halve medication with scissors and his bare hands.

Also in November, Mr Asok gave a 'nil by mouth' patient oral medication, handed over that all pressure area care was intact when a patient had a Grade 2 pressure sore, and failed to notice a patient’s nasal cannula was not in their nose.

He again had to be reminded about hand hygiene.

His most shocking mistakes came in December 2021, when he recorded observations against the incorrect patient, failed to document a patient's fall and take their blood pressure and/or sugar recordings, and failed to answer call bells.

One patient took the brunt of Mr Asok's incompetence, as he failed to offer them subcutaneous morphine, failed to ask a doctor to prescribe IV paracetamol, and failed to remove the spigot from their nasogastric tube which caused the patient to vomit.

Witnesses spoke at the hearing, including a member of the trust who set out the efforts made to help Mr Asok with his lack of competence, which included a transition course and a dedicated mentor.

However, many of the allegations made against Mr Asok, although found to be accurate, were not found to be failings, due to a lack of evidence of adequate training provided to Mr Asok by the trust.

Despite this, he was found guilty of over 20 errors across a wide range of his practice.

The charge was found to be proved by the hearing, and Ms Kyriacou on behalf of NMC, submitted that Mr Asok made repeated errors and failures over a prolonged period of time, despite supervision, support and training from his employer.

Mr Asok was handed a 12-month suspension order, and an interim suspension order for 18 months, as the panel deduced there were no mitigating features for his mistakes which put patients at risk of harm.

The panel concluded that the punishment was necessary for the protection of the public.

A spokesperson for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust told the County Gazette that Mr Asok has since had his contract terminated under their probation policy.

“It is regrettable when any healthcare professional loses their registration, but we support the outcome of this fitness to practise hearing undertaken by the Nursing and Midwifery Council," a spokesperson said.

“We did support Mr Asok under supervision to attain his skill and competence, but unfortunately he was not able to get to the required level without supervision so his contract was ended shortly after under our probation policy.

“We wish Mr Asok all the best for the future.”