Nurse watched woman self-harm and said, 'she'll faint before she dies'

Nurse who saw woman, 22, self-harm and said, ‘leave her, she’ll faint before she dies…we want her out the building’ then kicked her out of mental health unit hours before she took her own life

  • Paddy McKee is pictured in 2015, a year after Sally Mays took her own life in Hull
  • Meanwhile it emerged today McKee said ‘leave her, she will faint before she dies’
  • He allegedly made comment as the vulnerable patient tried to strangle herself
  • For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit a Samaritans branch

A disgraced nurse who was struck off for refusing to admit a 22-year-old woman to a mental health unit before she killed has been pictured.

Paddy McKee was shown walking down the street in a 2015 image, just a year after Sally Mays took her own life in Hull.

Meanwhile it emerged today a tribunal found McKee said ‘leave her, she will faint before she dies’ before he kicked her out of the facility.

He allegedly made the comment as the patient – who had mental health issues – tried to strangle herself when she was refused admission.

Ms Mays killed herself at home in Hull in July 2014 after being refused a place at Miranda House in Hull by McKee and another nurse.

Despite her being a suicide risk, they would not give her a place at the hospital after a 14-minute assessment.

Her parents Angela and Andy have fought for several years for improvements to be made and lessons to be learnt from her death.

Paddy McKee (pictured) was shown walking down the street in a 2015 image, just a year after Sally Mays took her own life in Hull

McKee lost his job after failing to admit Sally Mays (pictured) to Miranda House in Hull before she took her life at home

She took her own life in July 2014 after two nurses from Humber NHS Foundation Trust’s crisis team refused to admit her to hospital. Pictured: Miranda House

McKee was this month struck off following a Fitness to Practice hearing conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

He was employed in the crisis service of the Humber NHS Foundation Trust at the time he dealt with Ms Mays.

After a 12-day hearing, all 30 charges against McKee were proved along with six aggravating factors while all mitigation was dismissed.

The report by the NMC was this week published and condemned McKee, saying ‘he treated her in a way that lacked basic kindness and compassion’.

The NMC found his actions to refuse Ms Mays’ admission had contributed to her death.

The 30 charges proved against Paddy McKee over the death of Sally Mays:

  • Not carry out an adequate clinical / gatekeeping assessment in that Mckee did not identify whether he or Colleague 1 would lead the assessment
  • He did not consider, sufficiently or at all social circumstances; psychological factors; medical issues; mental health assessment; recognition of changes since last seen; identifying and exploring areas of clinical risk; safety and protective factors in the community
  • He did not fully take into account that [Sally’s] care plan provided for short-term admissions
  • He did not fully take into account [Sally’s] two care coordinators and psychotherapist were recommending short-term admission and their reasons
  • He did not take into account [Sally] had described wanting to a self-harm and had done son earlier in the day.
  • The alternative care plan to admission he identified did not adequately protect [Sally].
  • He did not seek a second opinion from a psychiatrist Did not further risk assess [Sally] when she banged her head against a wall after the initial clinical/gatekeeping assessment.
  • Said ‘leave her, she’ll faint before she dies’ or words to that effect when [Sally] had self-harmed
  • When the police attended Miranda House he words to the effect of ‘she is just a member of the public now’ and ‘she has been assessed and we want her out of the building’.
  • Raised his voice to the police.
  • His decision to refuse admission contributed to [Sally’s] death.


McKee did not attend the hearing and refused to engage with the process. It is not clear at this stage whether he will appeal.

But the report was hugely critical of him and made it clear his actions contributed to her death.

The report says: ‘The panel determined that despite concerns raised by medical professionals about Patient A’s increased risk of fatal self-harm or suicide on July 25, 2014, Mr McKee deviated from Patient A’s care plan and refused admission for a short-term in patient stay.

‘The panel considered that, while there were other factors that could have contributed to her death, if Patient A had been admitted into hospital, she would not have had access to potentially harmful substances or material. Furthermore, she would have had received care and appropriate support from professionals.

‘Having examined all of the evidence presented to it, and having particular regard to the expert evidence, the panel was of the view that on the balance of probabilities, it was more likely than not that if Patient A was admitted on July 25, 2014 she would not have died on that day.

‘The panel found that Mr McKee’s decision to refuse the admission of Patient A contributed to her death and therefore found this charge proved.’

The panel explained how McKee ignored the opinions of other professions when deciding to turn Ms Mays away.

The report says: ‘The panel found that Mr McKee demonstrated a flagrant disregard for required standards during the gateway assessment and the clinical opinions of the medical professionals directly involved in Patient A’s care.

‘It also found that Mr McKee ignored the wishes of Patient A, who was clearly distressed.

‘The panel determined that Mr McKee’s actions when Patient A self-harmed in his presence were wholly inappropriate as he did not act in her best interests or act immediately to prevent injury and to provide care.

‘Furthermore, the panel found that despite opportunities arising where a further risk assessment would be required during Patient A’s time at Miranda House, Mr McKee did not carry out any further assessments and continued to refuse admission.

‘The panel was of the view that Mr McKee appeared to have pre-determined that Patient A would not be admitted and that even in the face of ‘red flags’ he did not reassess Patient A and dismissed her requests for help.’

Concerns were also raised over McKee’s behaviour that evening when questioned over his handling of Ms Mays.

The report says: ‘The panel considered that Mr McKee’s behaviour when he was challenged by people who were simply trying to act in Patient A’s best interests fell far below the standards expected and raised some serious attitudinal concerns.

‘The panel was of the view that all of the above was exacerbated by Mr McKee holding a position of authority, and as a Band 7 mental health nurse, he should have acted as a role model to his colleagues.

‘The panel found that Mr McKee’s actions fell significantly short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse and, both individually and collectively, were serious enough to amount to misconduct.’

An eight-day inquest in 2015 heard Ms Mays (pictured as a teenager) – who had emotionally unstable personality disorder – died from an overdose and mechanical asphyxia

The panel determined Mr McKee’s actions and behaviour brought the profession into disrepute.

The report says: ‘Mr McKee did not adhere to the standards expected of a band 7 nurse, the panel found that he failed to act in the best interests of Patient A and he treated her in a way that lacked basic kindness and compassion, and failed to consider her presenting problems and risks.

‘Furthermore, the panel found that Mr McKee demonstrated significant attitudinal concerns in his behaviour towards other medical professionals and the police, it considered that this behaviour brought the profession into disrepute and breached fundamental tenets of the profession.

‘The panel considered that Mr McKee is liable to act in such a way in the future.’ But the panel went even further in its finding, fearing McKee would not change his ways.

The report continues: ‘Having had regard to all of the evidence before it, which included Mr McKee’s responses to the events which led to the charges against him, the panel determined that he has demonstrated a wholly inadequate level of insight into his failings.

‘Furthermore, the panel found that he does not appear to recognise the gravity of the consequences of his actions and omissions or demonstrate any remorse.

‘The panel therefore determined that the risk of repetition and the consequent risk of harm is high. The panel therefore decided that a finding of impairment is necessary on the grounds of public protection.’

The NMC also deemed McKee’s fitness to practise mental health nursing has also been impaired.

The report says: ‘In addition, in view of the seriousness and nature of this case, the panel concluded that public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made in this case and therefore also found Mr McKee’s fitness to practise impaired on the grounds of public interest.’

Ms Mays mother Angela believes the family have finally received some justice for her daughter.

She told Hull Live: ‘The imposition of the maximum sanction of a striking off order to ensure that McKee never practices again is what we have sought over the past seven years.

‘It is important no other patient suffers the abject psychological torture and cruelty he inflicted on Sally when she was begging for help.

‘He afforded her no care, compassion, kindness or human dignity.

‘The sanction imposed by the NMC sends out a very important message about the standards of practice required of mental health professionals.

‘For us as a family, the past 7.5 years have been utterly harrowing.

‘We will never be able to come to terms with the details of the unconscionable behaviour of those, so called ‘professionals’ responsible for Sally’s care and whose actions ultimately directly contributed to her death.’

An eight-day inquest in 2015 heard Ms Mays died from an overdose and mechanical asphyxia after Yorkshire Ambulance Service took 99 minutes to reach her.

The inquest heard Sally asked to be admitted to hospital as her mental health deteriorated in the last few days of her life.

Three nurses from her community team and her psychotherapist recommended a short stay in hospital in line with her care plan.

But McKee and another nurse refused to admit her after carrying out what Professor Paul Marks described as a ‘lamentable’ assessment.

Instead, they called police when she started banging her head off a wall and tried to strangle herself in her distress.

Officers knew she needed to be in hospital to keep her safe and had a ‘stand-up fight’ with the nurses to persuade them to change their minds.

But they were forced to take Ms Mays home when the nurses refused to reconsider their decision.

Prof Marks said not to admit Ms Mays constituted ‘neglect’ which bore ‘a direct causal relationship to her death later that evening’.

He said had she been admitted following an initial assessment she ‘would have survived and not died when she did’.

Coroner Prof Marks ruled in a 2015 inquest that the failure to admit her to hospital was neglect.

He said: ‘For the avoidance of doubt, had Sally been admitted, she would not have died that day.’

The Humber NHS Foundation Trust said it cannot comment on the NMC hearing result.

But a spokesman said: ‘We are unable to comment on the specific outcome of the NMC hearing.

‘The Trust undertook its own investigation at the time and has implemented significant improvements to its processes and strategy since 2014, to reduce the likelihood of any similar incidents occurring in the future.

‘While we do not comment on individual cases due to confidentiality reasons, it is extremely important to us that we communicate directly with those affected.’

In December last year, the High Court in London ordered a new inquest into Ms Mays’ death after ‘new evidence emerged’ although a date has yet to be fixed.

  • For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit a Samaritans branch

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