A NURSE who dragged a vulnerable patient with learning difficulties along the floor and locked her in a room has been found guilty of misconduct.
Joyce Lomas, a former senior staff nurse at Glenside Hospital in South Newton, admitted using the “incorrect technique” on April 14, 2015.
She also admitted leaving the patient unattended in her room and was found guilty of locking the door, but was cleared of failing to report the incident.
Glenside said Ms Lomas was immediately suspended after the incident and later dismissed for gross misconduct.
At the time of the incident, the 47-year-old patient, who had cognitive and behavioural difficulties, epilepsy and spinal problems, was “increasingly agitated” and lay on the floor of the communal lounge, screaming, a report said.
Ms Lomas rolled her onto a duvet and dragged her 28m up the corridor to her room – “an unapproved method”.
She denied locking the door, saying: “I thought some quiet time in her room would de-escalate her anxiety and give her some peace and privacy.”
But in evidence, one doctor said she was “100 per cent sure” she had seen Ms Lomas lock the door, and a conduct and competence committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council found the charge to be proven. Dragging the patient was “inappropriate and unacceptable”, it said.
“Nurses have a duty to treat those in their care kindly, considerately and to respect their dignity. To act in the way Ms Lomas did was neither kind nor compassionate. Ms Lomas failed to respect the dignity of Patient A.”
Her actions “fell far short” of expected standards, had put patients at risk of harm and brought the profession into disrepute, the report said.
And she failed to acknowledge the seriousness of her actions and showed a lack of empathy.
As a role model to junior staff, she had set a poor example and “should have known better”, the report said.
But it was “a single incident” in an “otherwise unblemished” nursing career of 42 years.
Her actions were not malicious and caused no actual harm, the report said, adding that she had apologised “profusely” and attended extra training. Under a six-month “conditions of practice order” she must work with senior staff at her new employer, which was not disclosed, on a personal development plan and have monthly reviews.