York & North Yorkshire

Fulford care home nurse abused residents

A nurse who verbally and physically abused four frail and vulnerable care home residents faces being struck off.

Christina Cooper called one man an "animal" while working at Connaught Court care home in Fulford, near York.

She also held a soiled sheet close to his face and said "When dogs do this their owners rub their noses in it."

Mrs Cooper has been suspended from the profession after a hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The panel will meet again on 29 July.

The NMC heard Mrs Cooper abused residents at the home, run by the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI), between October and November 2009.

All four victims she targeted suffered from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

'Entirely inappropriate'

On one occasion she was seen by colleagues "scooping up" an elderly resident with both hands to turn him over.

The NMC panel said the action constituted physical abuse.

Mrs Cooper was also heard to have verbally abused all four patients, including telling one woman "You're acting like an animal".

Claims she had tried to strangle a resident with a scarf were not found to have been proven.

Adjourning the hearing until 29 July, when the panel will consider sanctions, panel chair Judith Worthington said it was necessary to impose an interim suspension order to "protect the public and maintain public confidence in the profession".

A spokeswoman for the RMBI said Mrs Cooper was immediately suspended from duty after the allegations surfaced and has since been dismissed for gross misconduct.

She said: "The RMBI fully condemns the actions and behaviour of Mrs Cooper during this period, which were entirely inappropriate and contrary to the high standards expected for all members of our staff."

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