York & North Yorkshire

Abusive Fulford care home nurse struck off

A nurse who verbally and physically abused four patients has been struck off after a health watchdog ruled she posed a "real risk to the public".

Christina Cooper called one man an "animal" and held a soiled sheet in the face of another while at the Connaught Court care home in Fulford, near York.

Mrs Cooper's account of events conflicted with that of other witnesses.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said she was no longer fit to practise.

NMC panel chair Judith Worthington said Mrs Cooper's misconduct "undermined" confidence in the profession and was "fundamentally incompatible" with her remaining on the register.

She said that while the abuse was not "the most obvious or blatant...it was insidious".

'Real risk'

"Her misconduct resulted in residents, who lacked capacity, being physically and verbally abused," she said.

"Her persistent lack of insight and her attitude to her culpability mean that her misconduct has not been remedied.

"She continues to represent a real risk to the public and the wider public interest."

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.

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

Mrs Cooper, who was present at the hearings until the NMC's judgement, is not able to apply for restoration to the register for five years.

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