Nurse Was Caught Preaching To A Patient, Got Fired And This Happened [Full Gist]
A senior hospital nurse sacked for offering a Bible to a patient has had her working restrictions lifted, it was revealed yesterday.
A tribunal ended the sanctions after saying Sister Sarah Kuteh had demonstrated ‘full remediation and a high level of insight in regard to your failings’.
The decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council comes two years after the 49-year-old was marched out of the Kent hospital where she worked and sacked for gross misconduct having discussed her faith with patients.
She was never accused of any clinical failure or wrongdoing, but was told by the regulator that her fitness to practice was impaired and she had failed to ‘respect equality and diversity’.
She has been allowed to work in recent months only under the close supervision of a superior and in accordance with tight restrictions.
The mother-of-three, who has been a nurse for 15 years, welcomed the regulator’s decision yesterday and said being sacked and sanctioned had been ‘embarrassing and very painful’.
The NMC was told that in February 2016 she had ‘an inappropriate conversation’ with a patient and their relative.
Mrs Kuteh, whose duties involved asking patients about their faith for a pre-op questionnaire, is understood to have asked the patient and relative whether they went to church, and suggested that they should.
Between April and May she is said to have had ‘one or more inappropriate conversations with patients about religion’, and ‘on an unknown date inappropriately gave a Bible to a patient’.
The nurse was suspended in June 2016 by Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, and sacked that August. Her dismissal was then upheld by an employment tribunal.
A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing considered her fitness to practise this spring, ruling she breached professional standards.
It said: ‘Your misconduct goes to the heart of what is the foremost and indispensable responsibility of a registered nurse. The public would expect a nurse to understand the importance of, and respect, equality and diversity, to recognise, respect and uphold the rights of patients, and to put the care of patients at the forefront of their practice.’
The NMC verdict said there was ‘a risk that you will, in the future, put patients at unwarranted risk of emotional harm, bring the profession into disrepute, and breach a fundamental tenet of the profession’.
However, in July, a panel who read her written submission noted that ‘there have been no issues identified with your clinical practice’ and that ‘you have made significant progress’.
It said that removing sanctions on Mrs Kuteh would not undermine confidence in the profession, adding: ‘It is in the public interest to return an otherwise experienced and competent nurse into practice.’
Mrs Kuteh, who has been working for a private nursing home, will now be able to practice without the close supervision of a superior and without obeying restrictions which include reporting all employment to the NMC, reporting the sanctions to employers, and meeting managers regularly to discuss her performance.
Yesterday, recalling the moment she was suspended, she said: ‘I was walked out of that hospital after all I had done during all my years as a nurse and I was told I couldn’t even speak to any of my colleagues.
‘All I had done was to nurse and care for patients. How could it ever be harmful to tell someone about Jesus?’
Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, which backed Mrs Kuteh at the hearing, said her actions ‘were wholly motivated by compassion’, adding: ‘But for the question on the pre-op questionnaire, these conversations would not have taken place.’