A NURSE who verbally abused a patient and his colleagues and gave another patient an overdose of medication has been suspended from practising for 12 months.

A panel of medical experts found that Neil Robertson put patients at an "unwarranted risk of harm" while working at Darlington Memorial Hospital and had "little insight or understanding regarding patient safety".

Robertson called a patient at Darlington Memorial Hospital "a spoilt little b***h" and told her that he was "f***ing sick of her" before he threatened her boyfriend.

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He also called a fellow nurse a "gollywog" and branded a receptionist at the hospital "a ginger whinger".

Robertson worked at the Memorial Hospital, part of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, as a staff nurse from September 2005 to August 2011, when he was dismissed for errors in administering drugs to patients. On one occasion he gave a patient 400mg of diabetic medication instead of the prescribed 40mg.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMW) panel found Robertson, who did not attend the hearing in London or make representations, had fallen well below the expected standard of conduct and that his behaviour amounted to misconduct.

The panel heard that Robertson worked in the accident and emergency department until 2010 when he was handed a final written warning following complaints.

He was transferred to Ward 41, an acute ward, where he made a number of errors while giving patients their prescribed medication.

While under investigation for giving two patients the incorrect doses of medication he told the woman looking into the incidents that she was a "jobsworth".

Robertson was dismissed by the trust in 2011 after another incident where medication was incorrectly administered.

NMC panel chair Monica French said: “The panel found that Mr Robertson acted in such a way as to put patients at unwarranted risk of harm.

“He had committed clinical errors and displayed little insight or understanding regarding the consequences for patient safety.

“Furthermore, he was reluctant to accept and learn from feedback provided by senior colleagues including an improvement plan.

“His behaviour when dealing with Patient A and also towards his colleagues, was such as was likely to bring the profession into disrepute.

“This was wide-ranging, repeated and serious misconduct.”