Suffolk nurse denies humiliating OAPs

SUFFOLK nurse Samantha Knight's hearing into allegations of humiliating and abusing patients was due to resume today.The 37-year-old is accused of humiliating and abusing frail patients 'shoved' a suction tube down an elderly woman's throat until she gagged, an inquiry has heard.

SUFFOLK nurse Samantha Knight's hearing into allegations of humiliating and abusing patients was due to resume today.

The 37-year-old is accused of humiliating and abusing frail patients 'shoved' a suction tube down an elderly woman's throat until she gagged, an inquiry has heard.

Knight allegedly ignored a nursing auxiliary's attempts to warn her the patient was choking to death before finally noticing her distress.

She then forced as much as ten inches of flexible tubing down the woman's throat to remove the blockage, it was claimed yesterday.


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Assistant Jackie Leftley said the suction continued for as long as 20 seconds while the patient made 'alarming noises'.

She added: 'The patient was making a horrible noise, a loud gagging sound.

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'I thought the tube was far too far down her throat. I was just amazed at how far the tube went down.'

Knight faces 11 charges of professional misconduct over her treatment of patients at both the Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth and the Beccles and District War Memorial Hospital.

Patients were left naked on the ward, lying with their legs open, force-fed or handled 'inappropriately' with a suction pump, the hearing has been told.

She allegedly gave one woman a large bruise on her leg and ignored one man's complaints of a headache which later needed emergency treatment, it is claimed.

Knight also failed to ensure patients received their medication by lazily placing the medicine beside their beds and walking off, it is claimed.

Nursing Auxiliary Leftley has already claimed patients were frightened and intimidated by nurse Knight at the Patrick Stead Hospital.

She told how she saw Patient D choking in February or March 2000.

'The patient was going very blue and bubbling from the mouth. I noticed what was happening and I told nurse Knight: "She is choking."

'She did not appear to hear me. When she turned round saw patient the patient and got the suction machine.

'She shoved the tube in as far as it would go down. The patient was gagging.'

Solicitor for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Helen Kitchen, asked: 'Did nurse Knight stop the procedure when the patient gagged?'

Ms Leftley said: 'No.'

Knight worked at Patrick Stead from August 1999 until January 2001 when she moved to the Beccles hospital.

She was investigated about the alleged failures in caring for patients in June last year.

Knight, from Wingfield, Suffolk, denies all 11 allegations.

The hearing continues.

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