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November 8, 2002

Nurse denies

From: East Anglian Daily Times, UK
Nov. 8, 2002

A NURSE accused of dragging an elderly woman on and off the toilet has denied the allegation, insisting it was physically impossible because of the pensioner's weight.

Judith Clark, 60, told the Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing yesterday she did not throw the 98-year-old around her room because she was too heavy.

Asked if she had ever hauled or dragged the woman, Mrs Clark replied: “No, I think it would be a physical impossibility, She was a very large lady.”

Mrs Clark described how she would help the woman to her feet and gently roll her onto the commode at the care home in Stowmarket.

The committee was told at a hearing in August the woman, identified as resident A, would call for help to be taken to the toilet numerous times throughout the night.

But Mrs Clark denied resenting having to attend to her, although she admitted raising her voice because the woman was hard of hearing.

“I did not shout aggressively at her, but I did ask her if she had finished using the commode. I probably raised my voice and said 'Have you finished, have you finished?',” she said.

“I raised my voice because she was profoundly deaf. But to my knowledge. I did not shout aggressively.”

Mrs Clark, who worked at Wellington House Nursing Home for five years, was also alleged to have warned another resident she would call the police if he did not behave and to have told him to shut up.

But she claimed that man, known as patient B, had struck her in the face and she had replied with her warning.

“He was extremely demanding and he would shout a lot. He punched me in the face and I did say 'The next time you do that, I will call the police',” said Mrs Clark.

“It was an instant response and I feel quite ashamed about that. It just came out. I do not recall his reaction but he did not punch me again. I suppose I tried to set boundaries with him, but I found it very difficult.”

Mrs Clark faced a series of complaints over 13 months while working at the home.

She is accused of either roughly handling or using harsh language to at least five patients.

Mrs Clark, of Sparrows Nest Barn, Lower Road, Onehouse, near Stowmarket, has denied professional misconduct between March 16, 2000, and April 6, 2001, at the 21-bed home.

The hearing continues.

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