Town nurse is struck off

Rufford Care Home, Gateford Road, Worksop
Rufford Care Home, Gateford Road, Worksop

A former Worksop care unit manager has been struck off for calling a man with learning difficulties and a care assistant colleague abusive names.

Faye Dennis told staff to be on ‘pervo watch’ while caring for the 49-year-old man and described him as ‘slimy, creepy and offensive’ when discussing his behaviour towards other residents.

Faye Dennis

Faye Dennis

The nurse also made inappropriate comments about a care assistant at a meeting in 2008.

Dennis quit her job as manager of the Clumber unit at Rufford Care Centre, in Worksop, in March 2009, but continued working as an agency nurse.

Finding that her actions amounted to misconduct and that her fitness to practise was impaired, a conduct and competence committee determined that Dennis should be struck off the nursing register.

Panel chairman Alexander Coleman described the nurse as having ‘harmful, deep-seated attitudinal problems’ that no other sanction could address.

‘Ms Dennis has shown a lack of insight and remorse. A lack of insight into the impact her actions had on vulnerable patients,” he said.

‘There has been no evidence of any insight or remorse in relation to her using inappropriate language when referring to Patient A and her using derogatory language.”

He added: “The panel determined that Ms Dennis’s conduct had a substantial impact on patients and their families.”

‘There remains a continuing risk to the public from Ms Dennis continuing to practise as a nurse. In this case the public interest outweighs the interests of Ms Dennis.”

Patient A had been moved to the unit in May 2006 suffering from learning difficulties, epileptic seizures, and he was wheelchair-bound.

He struck up a relationship with a woman at the unit - patient F - and would sometimes perform sex acts on her in public areas.

Although staff had previously allowed it, Dennis took an immediate disliking to the relationship when she was unexpectedly promoted to manager.

Between March and November 2008 she branded his actions ‘abuse’ and told his family he was an ‘abuser’, referring to them as the ‘family from hell’.

The panel ruled Dennis had not acted inappropriately by sending Patient A to his room when he was sexual in public.

But she was found at fault for shouting at him, drawing up an inadequate care plan to deal with his sexual behaviour and not getting him appropriate treatment.

Dennis also failed to properly assess his seizures, dismissing them as attention seeking, the panel ruled.

The nurse of 25 years was cleared by the panel of calling another patient abusive names.

She was also cleared of taking off her bra and quipping: “You haven’t seen cups like these have you?”

Accusations she swore at patient A and called him ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ were dropped because hearsay evidence was not accepted by the panel.

But Dennis admitted referring to some patients as ‘fat gits’.

She has 28 days to challenge the decision and an 18 month interim suspension order has been imposed to cover any appeal period.