A NURSE who was allowed to continue working for nearly two years after managers found she lacked basic knowledge has been struck off.
Gwenda Cuthbertson was stumped by questions about female anatomy and the menstrual cycle when tested at the New Croft Sexual Health Clinic in Newcastle in July 2008, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was told.
She also could not recognise sexual infections, interpret Hepatitis B results and regularly provided incorrect or inadequate advice to patients suffering from potentially lethal diseases.
But the nurse was repeatedly given another chance and faced no formal disciplinary proceedings until she resigned from her post in February 2010, it was claimed.
Cuthbertson qualified as a nurse in 2007 and began working at the clinic in Market Street East on October 15 that year. Jamie Hunt, for the NMC, described how colleagues and patients raised concerns within three months and in February 2008, it was agreed her performance would be monitored.
Over the next few months, Cuthbertson is accused of making a series of errors, including failing to tell patients they needed treatment for Hepatitis B and should stop having sex.
In total, she made 21 mistakes including failing to keep accurate records and explain gonorrhoea or chlamydia to patients, the hearing was told.
Mr Hunt said: “It was expressed to the registrant that she had been with the GUM clinic for nine months now and it was expected that her knowledge of sexual infections would be better than she had been performing.
“She was asked 30 questions to assess her clinical knowledge and the registrant was only able to answer 20 correctly.
“It was expected that a nurse in her position would be able to answer all 30.”