Mental health nurse who shouted at one patient and was ‘aggressive’ towards another suspended

A nurse who shouted at one patient and was “forceful, loud and aggressive” towards another at a Sunderland mental health hospital has been suspended from the profession for six months.

Gillian Hood was heard shouting at a patient on a psychiatric intensive care unit at Hopewood Park Hospital, Ryhope, in February 2017.

The mental health nurse was put on a performance plan in August that year after an investigation by the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Go here for the very latest breaking news updates from across the North East

A disciplinary panel heard that a month later, Hood was in the dining room of a female only high dependence rehabilitation unit when another member of staff saw her directing a patient to clean the drinks area.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel found that she told the patient, “you will pick it up,” took items from the sink and “banged” them down on the bench, snatched items from the patient and stopped her from leaving by holding her arm and standing in her way.

They also found Hood told other patients, “see, she [Patient 1] is only doing this due to her mum not ringing”.

The panel has now handed her a six-month suspension after finding her “conduct [was] completely unacceptable”.

A report of the hearing said that on February 18, Hood was in the dining area of a psychiatric intensive care unit when she was heard shouting “don’t you talk to me like that” to a service user.

A month after being placed on a performance plan as a result of the concerns raised, another incident was witnessed in the dining room of a rehabilitation unit.

The report said: “Concerns were raised about how Miss Hood directed Patient 1 to clean the beverage area; it is alleged that she was forceful, loud and aggressive towards Patient 1.

“It is alleged that Patient 1 tried to leave but Miss Hood did not let her.

“During the incident, Miss Hood is alleged to have shown no compassion with Patient 1.”

The panel heard Hood was suspended by the trust after the incident and later dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct.

The NMC have now found a series of allegations proved, including that Hood “snatched” a sponge from the second patient, and was “forceful and intimidating in her conduct”.

They said: “The panel concluded that the CCTV footage showed that Miss Hood guided Patient 1 with her arm and this contact by Miss Hood was designed to stop her from leaving the area.

“The panel noted that Miss Hood appeared to stop Patient 1 from leaving the area a couple of times during the CCTV footage by standing in her way.”

Concluding that Hood should be suspended from the profession for six months, the report said, “The panel were of the view that Miss Hood’s conduct caused distress to patients. It noted that all the facts found proved individually demonstrated a serious failing which fell short of the standards expected of a nurse.

“The panel found Miss Hood’s conduct completely unacceptable. It noted that all patients are entitled to care and kindness, it also considered that the patients involved in these incidents were particularly vulnerable.

“The panel considered that the patients involved in these incidents were alarmed and distressed by Miss Hood’s conduct as were the patients who observed Miss Hood’s behaviour in these incidents.”

For the latest local news in your area direct to your inbox every day, go here to sign up to our free newsletter

Chronicle Live – Sunderland