A NURSE has been suspended for 12 months after he was found to have fallen asleep several times while working night shifts.

Despite being the only registered nurse on duty at Old Gates Residential and Nursing Home, in Blackburn, one colleague found Bakht Buland snoozing with his feet up on a chair and covered in a coat.

The colleague told a misconduct hearing that he slept ‘on and off’ between 3am and 5am. She tried to wake him by ‘coughing loudly and banging files’ and even tried tapping his knee, but he did not wake up.

A manager at the Pleasington home, run by Bupa, was informed and then observed Mr Buland sleeping on another shift.

After hearing evidence from his colleagues, the Nursing and Midwifery Council judged he fell asleep on various dates between August 2011 and January 2012.

Mr Buland denied the charges but did not appear at the hearing in London this week.

The panel said in its findings: “Members of the public, patients and colleagues would expect registered nurses to remain awake whilst on duty in order to provide care to patients.

“Mr Buland set a poor example to staff working with him and as a result of his actions he brought the reputation of the nursing profession into disrepute.

“The panel is satisfied that Mr Buland’s conduct is aggravated by the fact that he was, at the time of the events in question, the sole registered nurse on duty.

“The seriousness of the misconduct requires Mr Buland’s temporary removal from the register. It has determined that such an order is appropriate in this case, so as to mark the seriousness of Mr Buland’s misconduct and to send a message that such behaviour is unacceptable and must not happen again.”

Last week another of the home’s former nurses, Regina Privonitz, was suspended for six months for stealing residents’ cigarettes.