Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Nurse 'gave patient suicide tip'

Jersey General Hospital
The allegations relate to deaths at the hospital in 1999

A Jersey nurse allegedly showed a young female patient how to commit suicide, according to a leaked police report.

In another case the nurse allegedly asked an ill woman's son why he bothered visiting when she would be dead by the morning.

The claims were first looked into 10 years ago but are now being reinvestigated by Jersey Police.

The same male nurse is alleged to have been on duty when 13 patients died over two months in 1999.

According to the leaked report the average death rate between 1998 and 1999 on the ward at Jersey General Hospital was 4.5 deaths per month.

But in February 1999 there were eight deaths in four nights when the nurse was on duty, and a further five deaths in March also when the nurse, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was on shift.

Increased dose

The police report at the time says that could have been explained by a bout of illness among frail patients, but could equally be down to foul play.

But no action was taken on the report which has been recently leaked.

The police investigation into the deaths is now being reviewed by the force.

The leaked police documents outline four incidents:

The first concerns an elderly man who had suffered a heart attack. His drip had been removed and he was close to death, at a time when the nurse was on duty.

In the second case, a woman suffered liver failure. The nurse allegedly asked her son why he bothered visiting when she would be dead by the morning. The woman subsequently died.

The third case involves a patient who was critically ill. The nurse is alleged to have increased their dose of painkillers in a way a doctor said could have killed them.

The final case is of a young girl who had tried to kill herself. The nurse is alleged to have offered to show her how to commit suicide correctly.

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