Care assistant 'placed plastic bag over patient's head'

Santosh Bhatta Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Santosh Bhatta denies ill-treating 79-year-old Olinda Mansfield at Broadgreen Hospital

A hospital care assistant accused of placing a plastic bag over a patient's head claimed he was playing peekaboo, a court has heard.

Santosh Bhatta denies ill-treating 79-year-old Olinda Mansfield at Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool on 22 July 2018.

Mr Bhatta, 32, had been providing one-to-one care for Ms Mansfield that day, healthcare assistant Claire Rodgers told Liverpool Crown Court.

She said she challenged Mr Bhatta who replied "he was just playing peekaboo."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Bhatta was told to leave Broadgreen Hospital after the incident was reported

Ms Mansfield had been in a complex elderly care unit, for patients who require assessment for care packages, the court heard on Tuesday.

Ms Rodgers said she had been outside Ms Mansfield's room folding sheets when Mr Bhatta returned from a break and she saw him holding a plastic bag before entering the room.

Ms Rodgers told the court she had turned to see the bag had been placed over the patient's head.

She said: "It was her persona I noticed, she had her head bowed, she had her hands on her lap, her persona had changed."

She said she shouted at Mr Bhatta.

Asked by Claire Jones, prosecuting, how he reacted, she said: "He slowly took the bag off her head, it wasn't a rushed or shocked kind of reaction, and he said he was just playing peekaboo."

'Plastic sheet'

Ms Rodgers said a nurse heard the shout and came over and at which point "I had to walk away, I felt angry".

Opening the case, Ms Jones said Mr Bhatta had been told to leave the hospital after the incident was reported and was arrested at home the following day.

She said he "admitted having what he called a plastic sheet, not a bag, and denied he placed it over the complainant's head".

"He claimed he was playing peekaboo and he placed it in front of her face."

Mr Bhatta, of Lindale Close, Moreton, Wirral, denies ill treatment of another by a care worker.

The trial continues.

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