An inquiry has heard that a vulnerable 86-year-old patient was left unchecked in a nursing home in the west of Ireland during the night for six hours, despite a care plan directing that he should be checked every hour.

The patient fell and, after being admitted to hospital, died.

A staff nurse, who cannot be named by direction of the inquiry, is facing allegations of professional misconduct and poor professional performance in relation to the care of Patient A in 2015.

Patient A had a history of falls, suffered from dementia and was dependent on assistance with dressing and washing, and was incontinent.

The events relate to the night shift of 11 and 12 December 2015 at the nursing home.

The inquiry has heard allegations that Nurse A never checked Patient A between 11pm and 5am, which was confirmed by CCTV footage in the nursing home.

Lawyers for Nurse A said she deeply regretted her performance on the night in question, which she acknowledged was "sub-optimal".

She was under considerable personal stress and pressure, including financial stress and marriage breakdown.

This was the only complaint that has been made about her to a regulator.

Nurse A no longer works at the nursing home. She left in January 2016.

Lawyers for Nurse A said she had taken considerable steps to address her shortcomings.

The inquiry has heard that during the night shift in question, Nurse A spent time on the internet checking clothing websites, online banking and other sites.

There were four care assistants in the home, but Nurse A was in charge of checking Patient A, or ensuring care assistants did so.

After 5am, when care assistants were doing rounds, they found Patient A in his room on the ground, bent over a table.

They contacted Nurse A and Patient A was placed back into his bed.

An out-of-hours GP service was contacted but did not call due to no fault on anyone's part, the inquiry heard.

After Patient A was put back in his bed, Nurse A told staff she would keep an eye on him.

The inquiry heard that CCTV footage showed that Nurse A did not return to check Patient A, before the end of her shift.

Lawyers for the Nursing Board said her notes for the home on the incident recorded Patient A as having slept well until 5am.

The notes said he attempted to get out of bed unassisted and fell and staff had heard a bang and went to the room.

Lawyers for the inquiry said the notes of the incident and the handover by Nurse A provided a narrative account which was not witnessed, was not accurate or comprehensive.

Later on 12 December, Patient A was unwell, was transferred to hospital and died the next day.

A pathologists report found an early abdominal rupture and other medical issues.

Lawyers for Nurse A told the inquiry that her deposition to the inquest into the death of Patient A contained a number of inaccuracies but there was no intention to deceive.

The inquiry is due to last for two days.