Addenbrooke's nurse assault left intensive care patient 'in agony'

Addenbrooke's Hospital Image copyright PA

A nurse who smacked the legs of a patient in intensive care and moved him roughly in his bed has been struck off.

Grzegorz Wawrzynczak was cautioned for assault on the man, who was on a ventilator, at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge in April 2018.

Another nurse, who witnessed the attack, said when she looked at the patient's face he was "in agony".

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said he showed a lack of remorse and imposed sanctions for public safety.

The patient, described as "highly vulnerable", was in the neuro and major trauma intensive care unit on 22 April after suffering a head injury in a fall.

Twisted position

He could respond to questions by using head movements but verbal communication was limited due to the ventilator.

Three members of staff on the unit recalled Wawrzynczak swearing at the man, smacking his legs and trying to forcibly prise them apart to wash him.

One nurse said he rolled him over quickly, which left him in a twisted position, and the patient's face was "in agony".

The panel also heard that Wawrzynczak would have known, having worked on the unit for 10 years, that three staff were usually required to reposition a patient.

The NMC said the patient suffered emotional and psychological distress, and one of Wawrzynczak's colleagues was "physically affected" when giving evidence.

In a meeting at the hospital two days after the incident, Wawrzynczak admitted smacking the patient and in May 2018 accepted a police caution for common assault.

He was removed from duty and resigned the following October but subsequently claimed to the NMC that he had only pushed the patient's legs.

In a statement to the panel, he "sought to blame the patient" and "demonstrated no acceptance of any wrongdoing", it said.

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