Recently a care home manager in South Yorkshire was struck off following a hearing in London. Care home manager Janet Portman was caught trying to force feed a dementia sufferer and was overheard shouting “eat” and “get this in now or you will have this gel stuffed down your throat” at an elderly woman.
Portman accepted during an internal investigation that she had said “eat” and “eat that now” to the frail woman. She maintained she had to raise her voice as the patient wore a hearing aid and that it had been essential she eat after suffering a hypoglycaemic attack two days earlier.
A relative visiting another resident at the Ferrymoor Unit of the Hall Steads Residential Nursing Home on Stacey Crescent, Grimethorpe, was left ‘astounded and shocked’ after witnessing the incident.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council panel considered the actions distressing to residents and their families and that she set a bad example to her colleagues. Chairman of the panel Polly Clarke said: “It undermined Resident A’s autonomy and diminished her dignity.” She added that the ‘degree of humiliation’ could have resulted in ‘psychological harm’ to the patient.
The panel cleared Portman of an allegation that she pushed the woman back into her chair due to insufficient evidence. Portman has been struck from the register and she will not be able to apply for restitution for five years.
A spokesman for the home said: “The behaviour of Janet Portman, a fully qualified and experienced nurse, was unacceptable. We dismissed her in 2012 and reported her gross misconduct and actions to the relevant authorities.”