Stoke & Staffordshire

Stafford Hospital worker abused patient, hearing rules

Allegations a Stafford Hospital worker physically and verbally abused a dementia patient have been proven.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council found Bonka Kostova had pulled the 73-year-old man out of the toilet by his pyjama top while his genitals were exposed and said he was "like an animal".

Two staff nurses saw the incident and intervened during the night shift on 22 July, 2010, the hearing was told.

The council will decide on what action to take on Thursday.

The Bulgarian-qualified midwife, who was working a night shift as a healthcare support worker, also told the patient she hated him.

'Dealt with swiftly'

Ms Kostova, who was not present at the hearing, was also found to have pushed the man, named as patient A, into his wheelchair when he stood up and pushed him into a bathroom and onto a toilet.

He had been at Stafford Hospital for just over a month and was receiving treatment for kidney stones, the tribunal heard.

He was said to be aggressive in his speech or manner about 80% of the time and normally had a one-to-one carer, who was on a break at the time of the incident, leaving Ms Kostova in charge.

Staff nurse Jane Wilkinson had told the tribunal Ms Kostova was hard-working but on this occasion "did appear to be almost losing it".

Ward manager Sharon Matthews told the tribunal Ms Kostova had been trained in looking after vulnerable adults but had not received specific training for dementia care.

Robert Courtney Harris, medical director of Mid Staffs Trust, said Ms Kostova was suspended following the incident.

"The member of staff was suspended pending our investigation and never returned to work at our trust."

A report into failings at the hospital has found "appalling and unnecessary suffering" of hundreds of patients.

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