Nurse denies ill-treatment

A NURSE accused of dragging an old lady on and off the toilet insisted it was 'physically impossible' because of the woman's weight.Judith Clark, 60, told the Nursing and Midwifery Council she did not throw the deaf 98-year-old around her room because she was too heavy.

A NURSE accused of dragging an old lady on and off the toilet insisted it was 'physically impossible' because of the woman's weight.

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

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

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 last August that the woman, identified as Resident A, would call for help to be taken to the toilet numerous times throughout the night.

But Clark denied resenting it, although she admitted raising her voice because the patient was hard of hearing.

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Clark said: "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?"

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

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

She claimed the man, known as Patient B, had struck her in the face and she hit back with her warning.

Clark said: "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."

"It was an instant response and I feel quite 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."

The nurse admitted swearging at the resident in front of a care assistant.

Clark faces a series of complaints spanning 13 months while working at the home.

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

Fellow nurse Cherie Brand had told the hearing of Clark's attitude to nursing.

She said: "She was not very nice at all – there was something in her voice as if she was not happy doing the job.

"She was very rough and very hard. I did not say anything about this because she made me feel like a little mouse and I would sometimes see Resident A alone because I felt dreadful about the way she was being treated."

Ms Brand has also told how Clark made 'proud' Resident C, an ex-publican in her 80s, cry when undressing her.

Other staff said they would never work with Clark again.

Julie Palmer said: "Working with her was something I would never like to experience again."

She described her as 'soldier-like, ill-mannered, aggressive, stern and unprofessional.'

Fellow night-shifters at the home were alarmed at Clark's treatment of several residents.

When they raised their concerns with bosses an investigation was launched.

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

The hearing is due to continue next month.

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