A nurse who worked at a care home in Southall has been given a caution order after putting care home residents "at risk of harm" by turning up unfit to work.
Jaswinder Kaur, who worked at Beacon House Nursing Home, was given the 18-month caution after a misconduct panel found her fitness to practise "impaired".
The panel heard that on February 23 last year, Ms Kaur arrived "unfit to work" at the care home, which takes care of frail elderly patients and young people with disabilities.
Ms Kaur, who has been an adult nurse since 1994, admitted before the hearing began that she had turned up to work while unfit, according to a report by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Alcohol was allegedly smelt on the nurse's breath by both a registered nurse and a patient care co-ordinator at the home, who both gave evidence during the hearing.
The misconduct panel later concluded that, on the balance of probabilities, Ms Kaur had consumed alcohol before attending work on February 23.
During the hearing, it was alleged she was sent home from her shift after being found "slumped over" a desk while smelling of alcohol.
Giving evidence, the patient care co-ordinator at Beacon House said Ms Kaur started to talk about personal matters and became "very emotional and upset".
Although the senior staff member said Ms Kaur's "speech became slurred", she conceded that this could have been down to her increasing levels of distress.
She also suggested that Ms Kaur was "not talking in complete sentences and kept repeatedly talking about [her] personal life in response to the handover information."
In a meeting on February 24, the NMC report suggests the nurse admitted she had "been out with friends" and had had a drink before work the previous day.
The report says: "The panel was therefore satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that you had consumed alcohol before attending work on February 23, 2017.
"However, the panel noted that it did not automatically follow that, because you had consumed alcohol prior to your shift, you were unfit to work by reason of this consumption.
"Both [witnesses] observed that you were able to use your phone and [the patient care co-ordinator] had no concerns about your coordination when you left the building.
"The panel considered that your 'slumped' position on the desk was not necessarily indicative of alcohol consumption and could be attributed to a number of other factors."
Although the hearing concluded that Ms Kaur had drunk alcohol before her shift, it did not find sufficient evidence to prove that the consumption was of a degree which left her “unfit for work”.
'Conduct falls seriously short of the standards expected'
The report concludes: "The panel considered that there may be alternative explanations for your behaviour on that day and the NMC has not proved to the requisite standard that alcohol was the cause.
"Accordingly, it is found proved (by way of your admission) that on February 23 you attended work at Beacon House Nursing Home whilst unfit.
"However the panel has determined that you were not unfit by reason of the consumption of alcohol.
According to the panel, the nurse's actions fell "significantly short of the standards expected of a nurse" and they said her actions were a breach of the Code.
It concluded: "The panel considered that this conduct falls seriously short of the standards expected of a registered nurse and amounts to misconduct."