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Home / Latest News / Care home nurse ‘threatened to slap an elderly patient in the face’, hearing told

Care home nurse ‘threatened to slap an elderly patient in the face’, hearing told

A care home nurse threatened to slap an elderly patient in the face for using a help buzzer, a professional hearing has been told.

Nurse June Parry is alleged to have threatened the patient during her night shift on the nursing unit of Hafan y Waun Care Centre, Aberystwyth, overnight between January 5 and 6, 2010.

Senior care assistant Leonie Doran told the third day of a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) conduct hearing today that Ms Parry had spoken about the patient’s behaviour in a “sinister” and “threatening” manner at the beginning of the shift.

When asked if the comment could have been a joke, she said: “We do not joke when we are dealing with vulnerable and elderly people.”

The incident is one of 16 claims made against Ms Parry, alleged to have taken place between 2005 and 2010. If proven, she could be struck off the nursing register.

Ms Parry disputes the allegations. Of the 16 claims, 12 relate to the registrant’s time at the care home, while four relate to her employment with the Hywel-Dda NHS Trust on the Ystwyth Ward of Aberystwyth’s Bronglais Hospital.

Miss Doran said her colleague had left an elderly dementia sufferer who had broken her hip “grinding her teeth and screaming” when she failed to speak to her as she carried out personal care.

She said Ms Parry then tried to move her in bed using a painful “drag lift”, which involved pulling the patient under her arms, instead of using a hoist.

The witness described the method as “dangerous and inhuman” and told the panel this method had been banned in the home for several years.

She added: “The patient was clearly distressed, but she [Ms Parry] made no effort to calm her down.”

The witness went on to tell the hearing the nurse had breached policy by changing her single-use gloves just four times while tending to 15 patients during the evening incontinence round. She also failed to wash her hands, claiming the hand gel irritated her sensitive skin. 

Miss Doran added Ms Parry had refused to help an elderly patient to get out of bed during the night. She explained the man’s head was uncomfortable on his pillow because he had recently undergone surgery to have a brain tumour removed. He had also been incontinent, but Ms Parry is said to have ignored his request to have his pad changed.

Nurse team leader Amanda Evans said Ms Parry suggested the same patient should “hurry up and do us all a favour”, when he expressed a wish to die.

Mrs Evans told the panel the elderly man was particularly prone to depression during the winter months, as his wife had died around Christmas time and it was coming up to the couple’s wedding anniversary and his birthday.

The witness added Ms Parry had made derogatory comments about another patient when addressing fellow care staff at a morning handover meeting.

The registrant allegedly told staff members she had treated the woman by applying cream to “the c**p on her face and the horns on her head” – referring to rough patches of skin caused by her skin condition.

In a witness statement, care assistant Helen Kelly, who was also present at the handover meeting, said: “Everyone looked at each other in shock. I had never heard her say anything quite so offensive. No one could believe what they were hearing.”

Other claims include writing in a patient’s support plan evaluation that he was “generally being a pain in the a***,” failing to administer a bladder wash and forcing a patient to shower against her will.

Ms Parry was not present at the hearing, nor did she have legal representation. She gave evidence through written statements.

The hearing, in Cardiff, is expected to last until June 18, with Ms Parry disputing all 16 allegations regarding her time at both Hafan y Waun Care Centre and Bronglais Hospital.

The hearing continues.

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