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UK nurse guilty of murdering patients

murderA nurse in the UK has been found guilty of murdering and poisoning hospital patients. Daily Mail reports that Victorino Chua, 49, injected insulin into saline bags and ampoules while working on two wards at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport in June and July 2011. These were then unwittingly used by other nurses on the ward – leading to a series of insulin overdoses to mainly elderly victims.

Chua was convicted of murdering two patients but cleared of a third murder by the jury at Manchester Crown Court, which had been deliberating for 11 days.

The Crown said the Filipino father-of-two had decided to take out his personal frustrations on patients "for reasons truly known only to himself".

Chua, who called himself an 'angel turned evil', has been convicted of murdering Tracey Arden, 44, and Derek Weaver, 83, but cleared of killing Arnold Lancaster, 71.

Police fear he was not a fully qualified nurse after they discovered three different versions of his medical school record in the Philippines and believe he got someone else to sit his final exam.

Despite questions over their vetting and calls for a public inquiry the hospital and the Nursing and Midwifery Council say he passed the requirements when he arrived to work in Britain in 2002.

The Filipino father-of-two, described as a 'narcissistic psychotic' who enjoyed watching his victims suffer, tampered with medicine and gave it to patients himself or put them back so his colleagues would unwittingly use them.

After a number of poisonings police were called in so he started to tamper with prescription charts instead – doubling or trebling dosages to unsafe levels or removing drugs they needed to take.

After 11 days of deliberations he was today found guilty on 34 of 37 charges at Manchester Crown Court, which involved poisoning 22 people in total, and faces life in prison.

Det Supt Simon Barraclough said: 'The mindset of people who work in the NHS is that they're there to save patients or make their death more comfortable. 'The last thing in the world they think is that there's somebody in their midst who's trying to poison and kill patients. It doesn't feature on their radar.

'He is a serial killer – he's killed three people in this particular instance of offending. He could well have killed more if it were not for the intervention of other medical staff.'
And he cast doubt on whether the regulatory authorities in the Philippines which vet nurses had carried out thorough checks into Chua's nursing college transcript of records, which feature suspicious amendments.

Amid claims Chua may have used forged qualifications to qualify as a nurse, Mr Barraclough said: 'I have no confidence in the qualifications he has provided via the Professional Regulation Commission (which verifies the qualifications of nurses).'

Foreign nurses must now complete an online test, and if they pass, candidates can apply for a visa to work in the UK. They are interviewed and original documents, work history and qualifications are examined.

If these checks are satisfied, there is a further skills test before they are put on the register.
The NMC says Chua's case is coincidental to the introduction of the more 'robust' registration process for nurses coming from overseas.

It says there are 23,000 Filipino nurses on the register, and it analysed the registration process of all who registered between 2002 and 2006, around 11,500 nurses in all.

Records were checked to make sure the documents provided were what was required at the time.
Only a 'handful' were questionable and none was deregistered as a result, an approach that was 'appropriate and what the public would expect'.

[link url="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3086189/Nurse-Victorina-Chua-guilty-murdering-poisoning-patients-Stepping-Hill-hospital.html"]Full Daily Mail report[/link]

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