Investigation launched into claim nurse “attacked” care home patient


AN investigation has been launched after claims a nurse attacked a patient in a care home, leaving his bed covered in blood.

Brigitte Coupar is alleged to have grabbed a patient’s left ear and twisted it at Drummohr (corr) Nursing Home in Wallyford, East Lothian.

Other staff later discovered dried blood on the patient’s head, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Ms Coupar is also accused of telling a colleague to leave a patient in wet bedsheets for four hours at the home, which cares for around 60 elderly residents, some with dementia.

The NMC, which regulates the profession, has launched an investigation into Ms Coupar and suspended her for 18 months.

According to an NMC report, a witness at the home said they saw “Ms Coupar grab the patient’s left ear and twist it.”

Another witness said on 1 January 2013 that they “discovered dried blood behind [the patient’s] ear”

The witness, who was not named, continued: “We assisted [the patient] to the bathroom and washed his ear and noted cuts behind [the patient’s] ear.

“On changing the pillowcase I noticed another large patch of blood on the other side.”

Ms Coupar is also said to have told a colleague to leave a patient in wet bed sheets for four hours because she “wasn’t in the mood for him.”

The witness said the patient’s “bed was wet at the 2 o’clock round”.

“[Ms Coupar] said to leave him til the 6’oclock round cause she wasn’t in the mood for him cause she had too much to do getting the drugs delivery sorted.”

She is further accused of being “ruse, abusive and uncaring” towards residents in the home

Ms Coupar, who has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, did not attend the NMC hearing in Edinburgh earlier this month.

But the NMC panel saw a letter which she wrote on 5 January 2014, saying “I wish to convey my deepest apologies for any pain and distress I have caused residents, their families and the staff at Drummohr Nursing Home, Wallyford.”

Suspending the nurse for 18 months, NMC panel chair Stephen Neal said: “The allegations are serious, involving several allegations of patient abuse.”