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Home / Latest News / ‘Nurse said she would "put a pillow" over patient’s head if he pressed help button again’

‘Nurse said she would "put a pillow" over patient’s head if he pressed help button again’

A nurse told colleagues she would “put a pillow” over a patient’s head if he pressed his help button again, a professional hearing has been told.

The moment allegedly took place during a morning handover on the Ystwyth Ward of Aberystwyth’s Bronglais Hospital.

Healthcare support worker Gillian Pugh told the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Fitness to Practise hearing that it was nurse June Parry who made the comment.

Describing the moment, Miss Pugh said: “She would start going through the bed numbers and when she came to a specific patient she said, ‘He’s been a pain in the a*** all night. If he doesn’t stop ringing his bell I’m going to put a pillow over his head’.

“I was so shocked. When she said it, we were all just stood there stunned.”

The nurses, who were being given a handover by Ms Parry on a morning in early December 2005 were “so shocked” after hearing the remark that they wrote to a sister at the hospital complaining about the “uncomfortable” comment.

Asked whether the remark could have been a joke, Miss Pugh said that was not the case.

“It was the attitude and the way she said it,” she told the hearing in Cardiff on Wednesday. “It’s just not the kind of thing you say in a joke.”

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.

Twelve of the 16 claims relate to the registrant’s time working at an Aberystwyth care home.

Angelika Lebowska told the hearing how, while working as a care assistant under Ms Parry at Hafan y Waun Care Centre, the nurse had refused to let her change the incontinence pad of an elderly man known as patient A.

Miss Lebowska told the panel that while working the “particularly quiet” night shift between January 5 and January 6, 2010, she “did not see how this (changing the pad) could be a problem”.

“I think between four or five o’clock in the morning he rang the bell to let me know that he needs a pad changed,” she said.

Miss Lebowska told the hearing that she was capable of changing this man’s pad on her own and had done so previously, so she began the procedure.

“Then suddenly the nurse came in,” she said. “She asked me to leave. She said he should wait until six o’clock when me and my colleagues were going to go around the whole corridor.”

The care assistant, who has no nursing qualifications, said that because Ms Parry was her line manager she left but was shocked, saying: “I couldn’t see how this could be an interruption to her”.

“He was very upset and uncomfortable that being in a place where he should be cared for, he was just not,” she added.

But Ms Parry said in a written statement that patient A “had a tendency to request pad changes not because they needed to be changed but because he wanted the attention”.

Miss Lebowska disagreed and told the panel that when they eventually changed patient A’s pad around 6am, it was soiled.

The care assistant later told her nursing manager about the event.

Asked yesterday by lay panel chair Paul Morris whether she should have done something at the time, she said: “I wouldn’t challenge a senior member of staff in front of a patient. At the end of the day, she was there in charge.”

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

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

The hearing continues.

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