York & North Yorkshire

Cross Lane Hospital nurse suspended for dragging patient along floor

A patient suffered an A4-sized friction burn on her back when she was dragged along a hospital corridor by a mental health nurse, a tribunal has heard.

Nurse David Miller pulled the woman 15ft (4.5m) along a carpeted floor at Cross Lane Hospital, in Scarborough.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard the wound was "red, wet and weeping" and was visible more than four weeks after the March 2011 incident.

Mr Miller, who admitted misconduct, was suspended for nine months.

The tribunal heard Mr Miller had dragged the patient along the corridor after she became verbally abusive when she was told she could not have a cigarette but proceeded to light one inside the ward.

According to Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust policy uncooperative patients should be moved by three members of staff.

'Fundamental principles breached'

Mr Miller told the hearing the patient had been in a "fit of rage, kicking out with her feet and shouting loudly".

He said he felt under such physical threat that it was "reasonable to drag her to her room" but he said he had not intended to injure her.

In February 2012 Mr Miller was found not guilty at Scarborough Magistrates' Court of assaulting the patient.

He was dismissed from the trust in January 2013.

Mr Miller also admitted failing to seek assistance from colleagues, failing to document the incident and failing to include details of it in a handover.

NMC panel chair Yvonne Brown said Mr Miller's actions "breached fundamental principles of the nursing profession".

She said: "Although your misconduct was isolated in nature and occurred in an otherwise unblemished nursing career, it caused direct physical harm to a particularly vulnerable patient, who had the right to be treated with respect and be provided with an appropriate standard of care."

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