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Nurse struck off for slapping patient

A Peterborough nurse has been struck off the Nursing and Midwifery Council register for slapping a care home resident.

The action follows an incident involving Josephine Nash, 64, of North Bretton, while she was employed as a Mental Health nurse by Wentworth Croft Nursing Home.

An independent panel of the Conduct and Competence Committee sitting in London for the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard how she had slapped a resident on the top of the head after he hit her on the back in 2005.

Although her actions caused no injury to the resident, the panel ruled that her actions were incompatible with what is expected of a registered nurse.

It heard evidence that the resident was an elderly, confused and aggressive patient with Alzheimer's who was immediately restrained after hitting Nash and posed no further threat. Despite this Nash struck the resident with an open hand, an action the panel were satisfied was not in self-defence.
Responding to the panel's decision, NMC spokesperson Leila Harris said: "Josephine Nash's actions fell entirely short of the type of behaviour expected from someone in a caring profession."

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Nursing and Midwifery Council

Was this the right decision?

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Actually they should be targeting the GP and questioning his abilities as he will be the one trying to get cheap labour by employing an E-grade nurse to do F or G-grade nurses' work. Lots of GPs do this, then pile on the pressure. If you didn't know better, you can see how a weaker nurse may fall into this trap and so of course a catalogue of disasters. As usual the NMC does nothing to protect us, only punishes us whilst the BMA would always support their workers. There are plenty of GPs out there who scramp and safe and cut corners so long as they can squeeze out their QOF points. I have worked for one so I know. I have also worked for some excellent GPs. For those who are
new, how should they know what's acceptable practice if you have no one as a role model and no one lets you go on training?" - Karen Nicoll, London

"Yes. We expect patients and clients to adhere to a zero tolerance for abuse for the staff side. Surely it goes without saying that the patients are treated in the same manner!" - Wendy Hook, Spalding

"Yes, what right has she to inflict physical harm and abuse to this lady? There are plenty of methods to use rather than physical actions." - Sandy Clayton

"Yes, it had to be retaliation and cannot be condoned. However I commend anyone who works in these environments, as it is not unusual to be slapped, pinched and hit by patients with these problems and it is extremely difficult to work under these cicumstances day in day out and still care. I for one could not do it and I think the stress of working under these conditions is often overlooked by the general public and media." - Joanne Foulston, North East

"The decision is debatable. The nurse's action in my opinion was not a restraining of the patient and therefore was a form of assault. However patients' aggressiveness and illness should not be excuses for assault on nursing staff." - V Henry, London