Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Nurse uses excessive force on elderly mental health patient

Photo / File / Thinkstock
Photo / File / Thinkstock

A nurse who manhandled an elderly mental health patient after she smeared faeces over herself faces disciplinary action by authorities.

The male registered nurse, who has not been publicly named, was found to have used excessive and unreasonable force when cleaning-up the "very agitated" 76-year-old patient.

He made derogatory comments about her and prevented another staff member from going to her aid.

Putting her into a bath, the nurse pushed the long-term inpatient's head onto her chest and made her arm twice hit a wall.

The woman was then left wet, naked and cold in a drained bath before two co-workers watched the man use his knee to "jolt" her into a seclusion room.

Now the nurse - who worked for an unnamed health board and denies the allegations - has been referred to the Director of Proceedings.

Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill looked at the case and ruled that the registered nurse breached the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights, failed to comply with the DHB's policies for restraint and managing challenging situations, as well as the Nursing Council's Code of Conduct.

"He treated the woman roughly and unkindly, did not respect her dignity and independence and used excessive and unreasonable force," Mr Hill said.

"There is evidence that the registered nurse had appropriate training in the relevant policies, but failed to comply with DHB policy. Therefore, the DHB did not breach the code."

However, the commissioner criticised aspects of the DHB's medication administration recording and management plan for the woman.


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