Nurse suspended after ‘shoving food into a patient’s face’

Hellesdon Hospital, the headquarters of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Photo: Bill Smith

Hellesdon Hospital, the headquarters of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2012

A nurse who picked food up off the floor and shoved it into a patient's face while demanding 'How do you like it?' has been suspended for a year.

Larysa Drabble reacted angrily when the man threw his dinner plate towards her at Hellesdon Hospital.

Drabble, who claimed she was stressed due to overwork, was convicted of battery after the attack.

A panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) found her fitness to practise was impaired but decided not to strike her off the register.

The patient had been admitted to Rollesby Ward, run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, following an attempt to kill himself and because of the risk of harm he posed to others.

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'The man walked over to his plate of food that was on the floor, picked it up and threw it in the registrant's (Drabble) direction,' Ben Edwards, for the NMC, told the hearing.

'Drabble then picked up food from the floor and forced it in his face making contact with his mouth.'

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Drabble asked the man: 'How do you like it?'

Drabble had claimed that the hospital was understaffed but colleagues contradicted her claims, the hearing was told. She was previously convicted of battery at Norfolk Magistrates' Court on June 29, 2015, and given a six-month conditional discharge.

William Ard, NMC panel chairman, said: 'She was in a position of responsibility.

'She has shown limited insight into her misconduct and has made continuing denials, not withstanding the criminal conviction.

'Ms Drabble's conduct is not attitudinal in nature and is capable of remediation if the nurse is motivated.'

Michael Scott, chief executive of the trust, said: 'Behaviour of this type is totally abhorrent to our trust and it will not be tolerated, that is why we took immediate action in suspending this individual from duty and, following a robust internal investigation, dismissing them from our employ.

'We have also offered our deepest apologies to the service user for what they had to experience and we deeply regret that this happened while they were under our care.'

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