An Italian nurse at King’s Mill Hospital whose English was so bad a colleague had to use mime to show her how to do her job has been struck off the medical register.
Antonella Indrizzi took a job at Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after answering an overseas recruitment campaign in Italy in February 2015.
However, a committee heard her colleagues soon found her grasp of the English language was of concern.
There were numerous incidences of patients refusing to have her look after them due to her “extremely poor” language skills, the Nursing and Midwifery Council was told.
One colleague told the Council that sometimes Ms Indrizzi would look at her like she did not understand what she saying.
It led to her having to point with her hands and mime, while explaining verbally, in a bid to make sure Ms Indrizzi knew what to do.
She had also misinterpreted medical terms on the ward where she worked and did not communicate effectively with patients.
One had had to call for help because she was upset and, despite trying, Ms Indrizzi had been unable to find the words to reassure her.
Instead, she had told the patient to “be quiet”, according to a ward leader at the hospital.
Ms Indrizzi had worked as a healthcare support assistant at the hospital, but was a registered nurse, the committee heard.
However, she has now been struck off after her case went before the NMC’s conduct and competence committee.
The committee said she had been given chances to improve her English, but refused to take the internationally recognised IELTS English language test.
The committee said her fitness to practise as a nurse was “impaired”.
In a report of its findings, it said: “The panel has concluded her lack of knowledge is such she has in the past put patients at unwarranted risk of harm.
“Moreover, it would have been liable to bring the profession into disrepute.
“Although her lack of knowledge of English is capable of remediation, she has yet to take the IELTS assessment as a step toward achieving this and does not show any insight into the need to do so.
“Further, there was nothing in the evidence to reassure the panel Ms Indrizzi would in the future comply with reasonable requests to take such an assessment.
“As a consequence, the panel cannot be satisfied her knowledge of English has reached or will reach the necessary standard.
“In all the circumstances, the panel was of the view a striking off order is the only appropriate order sufficient to protect the public interest.” Julie Bacon,Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust director of human resources, said: “Antonella Indrizzi was recruited from Italy and worked for the trust for nine months during 2015 as a healthcare support worker, not as a registered nurse .
“All the usual employment checks were undertaken before she took up her post.
“However, as an EU national she was not required to take a language test.
“ She received regular supervision and dedicated support.
“However, we ultimately referred this case to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.”