11:10am Wednesday 18th July 2012
By Kate Liptrot
A NURSE abused dementia patients at a York nursing home, branded them “disgusting” and threatened to strangle a woman with a scarf, a hearing has been told.
Christina Cooper is accused of abusing four patients at the Connaught Court Care Home, inset, in Fulford , which is run by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has been told.
Cooper allegedly shoved a patient’s soiled sheet in his face and said: “When dogs do this, their owners rub their noses in it,” and referred to a patient as an “animal”.
The five-day hearing is due to hear of a string of allegations relating to the treatment of patients from October to November 2009.
Cooper, who denies the allegations, was immediately suspended from the care home after concerns were raised, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) said.
Care assistant Amy Redpath said Cooper was abrupt and uncaring towards some patients during the shifts they worked together. “Impatient would sum it up, I would think,” she said.
“I got the impression she didn’t really like her job and didn’t really like the residents.
“She complained about residents, complained about the workload, and complained the residents were perhaps wrongly placed.
“It was annoying and a bit depressing to be around, the mood was quite low for me.”
Mrs Redpath said Cooper would barge into patients’ rooms during the night, switch the main light on and roughly change their incontinence pads.
On October 9, 2009, Cooper is alleged to have told one man, referred to as patient A, he was “disgusting” as she changed his bedding.
She 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.
“On their next shift together, on the night of October 29, 2009, Ms Redpath recalled Cooper pulling back resident A’s sheets and abusing him for soiling the bed.
“It was horrible to watch, and it was horrible because I couldn’t do anything about it,” she said.
She described her as a dominant and hard character who told another colleague who said she would report her: “I will make your life hell.”
Cooper is also accused of threatening to strangle a patient as she put a scarf round her neck.
In response to the hearing, a spokesman for the RMBI said it took safeguarding of vulnerable adults very seriously, saying: “The allegations were fully investigated and as a consequence of our findings and due process, Ms Cooper was subsequently dismissed from RMBI employment on the grounds of gross misconduct.”
Connaught Court Care Home cares for about 90 people, providing residential nursing and dementia care.
Cooper “strenuously” denies the allegations, the hearing heard.
If found guilty of misconduct, she faces being struck off the nursing register.
The hearing continues.
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