Devon-based nurse 'force-fed patient medicine'

nurse on ward
Image caption When another nurse told their manager about the force-feeding incident they were "in tears" trying to explain what happened

A nurse who pushed a syringe into patient's mouth and force fed them medication has been struck off.

Tracey King also wrongly handled a patient, left medicine in a patient's room and made inappropriate comments, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

The nurse, who worked at several nursing homes and hospitals in Devon, did not attend the hearing.

The panel concluded Ms King put patients at "significant risk of harm".

Case presenter David Claydon said her actions "had brought the reputation of the nursing profession into disrepute".

In a statement to the hearing, a colleague said the nurse "shoved" a syringe into a resident's mouth and squirted the medication into her mouth "very quickly".

They were "shocked and stunned" and said the resident looked "very shocked and upset", the colleague said.

The allegations relate to when she worked at several hospitals and nursing homes, including Forde Park Nursing Home in Newton Abbot, Pinewood Nursing Home in Budleigh Salterton, Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and Tavistock Hospital.

'Roughly' pulled patient

While working at Forde Park Nursing Home Ms King made the comment: "What's the point? These people are old and ill."

She was also seen by a colleague "roughly" pulling a patient to their bed.

A patient at the nursing home told a staff member Ms King changed their pad before going to bed without washing them.

The council received three separate complaints concerning Ms King, who qualified as a nurse in September 2008.

The panel at the hearing concluded Ms King put vulnerable patients under her care at "significant and unwarranted risk of harm".

They added her conduct in relation to some patients showed a "complete disregard for their safety and dignity".

The nurse had not provided them with any evidence that "she acknowledges her wrongdoing", added the panel.

A few mitigating factors were also identified by the panel including the possibility Ms King has difficulty hearing.

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