A NAPPING nurse was caught sleeping while on duty nine times in one month.
Perpetua Cull, who worked at the North Merchiston Care Home, slept whilst working the night shift on numerous occasions in July last year.
Mrs Cull would collect a sheet and a blanket from the linen cupboard and sleep on a recliner chair.
Her colleague reported her and now she has been given a two-year caution order by the nursing watchdog.
Mrs Cull attended a hearing with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Edinburgh earlier this month, where she faced a total of nine charges.
The charges claimed that she “acted unprofessionally in that she slept whilst on duty on one or more of the night shifts” between July 9 and July 24, 2014.
The nine napping charges were found proven – despite Mrs Cull strongly denying that she ever fell asleep on duty.
A decision notice shows that evidence was heard from another nurse who used to work the same 10pm to 8am shifts.
The nurse, who remained anonymous, stated that Mrs Cull “would enter the residents’ lounge area having collected a sheet and a blanket from the linen cupboard and sleep in a recliner chair”. He added that he knew she was sleeping “not only because he saw her but because he heard her snoring”.
At the hearing, which lasted three days, Mrs Cull “told the panel she never slept on duty and it would have been hard for her to do so because the shift was so busy”.
She said that it was “unprofessional to sleep on duty and she would never sleep on duty”.
She also told the panel that her colleague’s version of events was “untrue” and that she believed his motivation for making the allegations was that she had “raised concerns about the length of his smoking breaks”.
In their decision, the panel stated that they found parts of Mrs Cull’s evidence “implausible”, and it was “more likely than not” that she had slept whilst on duty.
However, they accepted that there was “no evidence of actual harm to the residents”. The panel ruled that her fitness to practice was impaired, and imposed a caution order for a period of two years.
Mrs Cull was fired from the care home following the allegations, and now works for another nursing agency, where she does day shifts only.
Mrs Cull’s husband Robert said: “It’s totally barbarian what they have done. She should have just received a warning at the time.
“It’s not like she shot or killed anybody, she probably just closed her eyes on her dinner break.
“I used to work night shifts and I know that at two o’clock in the morning your eyes can get a bit tired – she didn’t set out to fall asleep.”