Nurse verbally abused elderly patients in her care

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Richmond: Nurse was branded a "disgrace" by a sherff

A NURSE faces being struck off over a catalogue of vile verbal assaults aimed at elderly patients in her care.

Margaret Richmond has already admitted saying to a member of staff “that bloody [Resident F] has pissed the bed – I need sheets” while working at Westlea Care Home in Neilston.

She also admitted shouting at a patient that they were a “crabbit old swine”.

The nurse faces several further allegations before the Nursing and Midwifery council in Edinburgh.

The nurse did not show up or have any legal representation when she appeared today (mon).

The incidents are all alleged to have taken place Westlea Care Home in Renfrewshire between 2007 and 2008.

Three other allegations have yet to be decided on by the tribunals. It is claimed that Richmond took the hand of an elderly patient, which was covered in faecal matter, and showed it to her, saying: “Yes, that’s s***e, s-*-*-*-e”.

On another occasion she is alleged to have told the same patient: “You are all covered in s**t.”

It is claimed that the nurse “acted inappropriately” to another patient, named Resident B, and pushed her into her room on a number of occasions.

It is also alleged that while on night shift she “brought Resident B to the lounge from her bedroom, despite her indicating that she wanted to go to bed”.

Richmond is also accused of leaving “medicines unattended on the medicines trolley or cabinet”.

When Resident B took some of the tablets it is claimed that she pushed the resident back into her room and said “leave my f*****g trolley alone”.

Richmond has already been sentenced to 240 hours community service after pleading guilty to criminal charges of assault against elderly patients at the care home at Paisley Sheriff Court last year.

She was branded by Sheriff Neil Douglas as “a disgrace to the profession”.

Today’s hearing was the first time the extent of her admitted and alleged verbal attacks on patients has been revealed.

Case presenter Deborah Baljit said Richmond had been informed of the hearing and wrote to say that she would not be attending and would not be challenging any witnesses or their statements.

Miss Baljit added: “There was also an admission by the registrant that her fitness to practice was impaired.”

The NMC panel, headed by Judith Worthington, agreed that two of the charges were found proved because Richmond admitted them in the letter but agreed that evidence should be heard on the other three as she disputed some of their facts saying that some of the remarks were said to members of staff and not to patients.

Margaret Holland, home manager at Westlea, was then called to give evidence.

She read her statement which she gave to the NMC on 15 July 2008.

Richmond came to work as a bank nurse in February 2006 and in October 2007 she applied for a permanent position which she took up in December 2007, she said.

The witness said that she first became aware of allegations against Richmond on 27 December 2007 “when I was approached by two members of staff who told me that resident A had said the one that comes in the morning had been rough with her and had hit her.”

During the hearing Mrs Holland was physically shaken from giving evidence and broke down and started to cry.

She continued: “After receiving the first allegation I decided to have a chat with resident A. She refused to comment and just shook her head.”

She added: “I understand that it might be quite intimidating and she was probably fearful of any repercussions.”

She went on to say: “On 16 January 2008 I was approached by James Begg [a colleague] who told me that this had gone on for a while regarding Ms Richmond.”

Mrs Holland said that she called a meeting on 21 January 2008 in which Richmond denied all of the allegations and statements that she gathered from staff.

Statements were then read from some staff who worked with Richmond.

In a statement from Janice Adams it was said that she witnessed Richmond hold a patients hand with faeces up to her face.

A statement from James Begg said he saw Richmond “push” a resident into her room using her “two hands”.

And a statement from Margaret Gray said that she had seen Richmond be “rough” with a resident who walked with a zimmer frame on a number of occasions.

The council has adjourned until tomorrow (Tue) when they will hear more statements.

Westlea is a care home for elderly frail and elderly frail with varying forms of dementia.

The care home has space for 55 residents.

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