Suspension for nurse who forced patient to swallow medication
7:10pm Sunday 5th February 2012 in By Mike Wilkinson, Senior Reporter
A nurse who forced an elderly woman at a Trowbridge nursing home to take medication after threatening to hit her has been suspended from the profession.
Margaret Afaribea Boateng, a nurse at the Ravenscroft Nursing Home in 2008, left the woman “hurt, harmed and frightened” after raising her hand as if to hit her. She also held down her hands and spoon-fed the medication, even though the woman was able to feed herself.
When she realised a colleague, care assistant Titania Wheeler, had witnessed the incident on October 14, 2008, she repeatedly phoned her and, in one aggressive call, reportedly asked: “Why tell the manager that I was going to hit her?”
Boateng was found guilty on all counts, despite denying the charges during a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing last week.
She admitted another charge that, on September 30, 2008, she failed to respond to an emergency call bell at 2am, when she was working on the night shift.
Ms Wheeler told the hearing she had seen Boateng enter the woman’s room with medication on a spoon, before holding her hands towards her chest and forcibly placing the medication in her mouth.
Barbara Buchan, the former manager of the home in Hilper-ton Road, was praised for her “professional” approach to the investigation.
She had a conversation with the patient the day after, which was witnessed by a third party, in which the woman corroborated Ms Wheeler’s account.
Boateng’s defence was at odds with that story. She claimed she was holding a medicine pot in one hand, which would not have allowed her to restrain the patient’s hands.
But the argument fell apart as it was revealed the patient had screamed and tried to spit out the medicine.
The three-strong NMC panel reported: “This strongly suggested that Patient A did not consent to her medication and therefore the fact that the registrant admitted that she gave the medication leads the panel to the conclusion that such medication was given without consent.”
Boateng was given an 18-month suspension, despite her current, Frome-based employer offering supervision.
The panel said it needed to protect the public from “fundamental” departures from the code which governs nurses.
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