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York nurse accused of abusing dementia patients

Nursing and Midwifery Council

6:08pm 17th July 2012
(Updated 8:17am 18th July 2012)

A York nurse has appeared before the the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Christina Cooper is accused of abusing four patients at the Connaught Court Care Home in Fulford.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council panel today heard (17th July 2012) how Ms Cooper allegedly branded the patients as "disgusting" and threatened to strangle one woman with a scarf.

It's also alleged that Ms Cooper shoved a patient's soiled sheet in his face and said: “When dogs do this, their owners rub their noses in it”.

The 5 day hearing is due to hear of a string of allegations relating to the treatment of patients between October and November 2009.

Cooper denies all the allegations against her.

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, which runs Connaught Court Care Home, has released a statement:

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) were alerted to allegations of inappropriate behaviour in respect of Ms Cooper by other employees following the said incident in October 2009.

The RMBI have a robust system in place whereby any member of staff or resident in an RMBI home can immediately report instances of alleged inappropriate behaviour or misconduct in a discreet manner, without any concern over possible retribution. 

In line with our long established procedures for fully investigating - and thus dealing - with such matters, Ms Cooper was suspended immediately from duty and the relevant regulatory authorities were informed.

The allegations were fully investigated and as a consequence of our findings and due process, Ms Cooper was subsequently dismissed from RMBI employment on the grounds of gross misconduct.

The RMBI takes its responsibility for safeguarding vulnerable adults very seriously, not only for those in its immediate care but across the sector as a whole. As such, it referred the matter to the Independent Safeguarding Authority and to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for consideration.

The RMBI is committed to providing quality care to all of its residents whose safety and well being is of paramount importance.  As such, the RMBI adopt a zero tolerance policy in respect of the rare occasions where that trust is broken, to ensure that staff behaviour reflect our core values. 

If found guilty of misconduct, she faces being struck off the nursing register.

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