A NURSE caring for critically ill patients watched a golf tournament on a work computer while on duty, a tribunal heard.

Nigel Steel was caught gazing at coverage of the Open Championship from the BBC website at York Hospital on July 21, 2012.

He later told a patient on ward 33 to soil themselves, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Steel is also accused of poor record-keeping and failing to provide adequate handovers to colleagues.

Fellow nurse Ria Dean told the Nursing and Midwifery Council she saw Steel watching the Open Championship when he should have been caring for patients.

She said: “He was standing in front of the computer screen.

“He wasn’t sitting but he was standing in front of the computer for periods of time.

“I got on OK with him as a colleague but we didn’t always see eye to eye. I would think it was because what I thought maybe was important was not always how he would see it.”

She said she also noticed Steel failed to change dressings for a patient who suffered from painful ulcers.

The panel heard Steel failed to provide critical details about a terminally ill patient to his colleague Hazel Cahill on July 24.

When Ms Cahill went to check on ‘Patient D’ on the acute gastro and renal ward, she found he had moved position and his oxygen mask had slipped off.

Ms Cahill said: “I saw that the patient was pale and sweaty and clammy to touch. I noticed his clothes and bedding were wet from the sweat.”

It is claimed Steel did not mention that the patient was using an oxygen mask and did not include details of the care required. Steel, who is not present or represented at the tribunal in central London, denies using a hospital computer to watch golf while on duty. He further denies inappropriately instructing Patient F to urinate or defecate on to a pad located inside their clothing.

But he admitted failing to record his interactions with the patient.

Steel also denies failing to adequately handover the condition of the following patients to staff at the change of shifts and failing to implement a fluid balance chart to record the input and output of fluids to a patient.

The nurse has admitted failing to record details of care provided to two patients and omitting to take a blood sugar reading for a patient.

If the panel find the allegations proved and determine the nurse is guilty of misconduct, Steel could be facing a suspension from practice or the end of his career.

The tribunal continues.