A SENIOR nurse could be struck off after she allowed patients to be admitted to a Caerphilly care home with "appalling standards of care".

Actions by Christine Hayes, a former Director of Nursing with Caerphilly Council, were found to amount to misconduct by a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel today following a hearing last year.

In her management role Christine Hayes signed a letter lifting an embargo on new residents being admitted to Brithdir Care Home, the panel found, although care there was "patently inadequate and way below the standard required."

The home, which provided care for up to 40 residents including those with dementia, mental infirmity and learning difficulties, was shut down in 2006 after multiple investigations by the Protection for Vulnerable Adults and a £11.6 million police investigation into homes in Gwent.

Some residents at the home suffered from pressure sores, the panel heard previously.

Mrs Hayes, 62, was employed at Caerphilly teaching Local Health Board from April 2003 to 2006, and was in charge of allowing funded nursing placements at the care home.

The panel heard she allowed the nursing placements to continue despite knowing of the home's financial problems and lack of a registered manager.

Her actions "exposed both existing and new residents to a risk of harm", the panel, led by Stephen Redmond, said.

In the judgment he said: "The panel was left with the impression that in your dual role [as a nurse and director of nursing] you lost sight of the duties which you had as a registered nurse. Your actions and omissions contributed to the continuing poor standards of care which brought the profession into disrepute."

Yesterday's judgement on misconduct was the second stage of the judgement process, with stage one being whether the panel found the facts proved.

They said in the previous stage: "The overwhelming evidence was that the home was failing in a way which should have precluded any decision to lift the embargo and allow new residents into the home."

The panel will decide on sanctions tomorrow, with the maximum penalty being to strike her off the nursing register.