Leeds care home nurse swore at dementia patient

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A nurse at a care home in Leeds said she “didn’t care” if a seriously ill patient died and swore at another, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel has heard.

Beatrice McDowall-Phillips was working at the Ashlands Care Home in Methley, Leeds, which cares for about 40 dementia sufferers, when she made the comments last January 13.

Ashlands Care Home in Methley

Ashlands Care Home in Methley

The NMC fitness to practise hearing was told Mrs McDowall-Phillips swore at one patient and said about another: “She won’t take her tablets. I don’t care if she dies, she dies,” or words to that effect.

The panel heard that Mrs McDowall-Phillips also said: “She’s starving herself anyway and she’s going to be dead soon,” or words to that effect.

A witness giving evidence to the NMC said the patient had probably overheard because she closed her eyes and looked “really upset”.

Finding her conduct to have been “far below the standard expected”, the NMC imposed a conditions of practice on her future work.

The conditions include working under supervision and regular meetings with her line manager for the next 12 months.

The panel said the punishment marked “the nature and gravity” of her misconduct.

The panel said it recognised Mrs McDowall-Phillips was in her first nursing role and that she had sworn at the second patient in a “knee jerk” response to some “very offensive remarks” about her race.

And the panel said it was recognised that the misconduct happened within a matter of minutes.

The panel heard Mrs McDowall-Phillips has an otherwise unblemished nursing career

After hearing evidence from a number of witnesses, the panel said she did not appear to show any empathy to the patients and added her behaviour “undermines the trust and confidence the public has in the profession.”

The panel imposed a number of conditions upon Mrs McDowall-Phillips’ registration.

She must notify the NMC within 14 days of any nursing or midwifery appointment.

Mrs McDowall Phillips was told at the hearing: “The panel went on to consider whether a suspension order was the appropriate sanction, and was satisfied that such an order was disproportionate in the overall circumstances of this case.

“The panel did not consider your misconduct to require your removal, even temporarily, from on the register.”

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