Nurse may be struck off over care abuse charges

A nurse who “robbed” dementia patients of their dignity at a Yorkshire care home by physically and verbally abusing them could be struck off.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council found a catalogue of charges against Christina Cooper proved.

In one incident, Cooper told a resident at Connaught Care Home in Fulford, York: “You’re an animal, you’re disgusting.”

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In another she shoved a patient’s soiled sheet in his face, telling him: “When dogs do this, their owners rub their noses in it.”

Cooper was found to have abused three patients at the Viking Wing of the home run by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.

Deciding on misconduct, chair Judith Worthington said: “The panel found that she displayed a pattern of conduct towards some residents with dementia, particularly when they exhibited challenging behaviour or had soiled themselves, which was such that they were robbed of their dignity.”

Giving evidence, care assistant Amy Redpath told how Cooper aggressively barged into patients’ rooms during the night to change their incontinence pads.

Cooper told one man, referred to as Patient A, he was “disgusting” as she changed his bedding in October 2009.

Ms Redpath said: “I remember Christina pulling the covers back with little or no communication, scooping up resident A with both hands in order to turn him over in bed. This was done quite roughly and I remember the resident being very startled and shocked, holding out for something as a sort of reflex action. It was horrible to watch, and it was horrible because I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Mrs Redpath told the hearing Cooper had threatened another colleague who said she would report her, saying: “I will make your life hell.”

Witness Charlotte Haley, a student, said she saw Cooper insulting a patient with a four-letter name after she had been “inconvenienced” by him.

In all, 11 of the 13 charges Cooper was facing, relating to incidents in October and November 2009, were found proved. Her care “fell far short from the required standards of conduct and behaviour expected of nurses and could be categorised as deplorable,” the panel found. It concluded Cooper, who had “strenuously” denied all the allegations, was still refusing to accept responsibility.

Cooper could now be cautioned, given a conditions of practise order, suspended or struck off.

The hearing continues.