Stafford Hospital HCA 'called patient an 'animal'
A veteran nurse broke down in tears while telling a tribunal how she saw a colleague at Stafford General Hospital pulling a dementia patient around by his pyjamas with his genitals exposed and then called him an “animal”.
Healthcare assistant Bonka Kostova first pushed the 73-year-old man into the bathroom and on to the toilet before pulling him out by his pyjama collar and shouting at him, the NMC heard.
Staff nurse Jane Wilkinson then broke down in tears as she described Kostova shouting: “I hate him, I really hate him.
“He is like an animal. I can’t bear working with him.”
Mrs Wilkinson, who has been a nurse at the hospital since 1985, said Kostova was hard-working but could sometimes be abrupt with other members of staff, but that it was to do with her Bulgarian accent and demeanour.
However, on this occasion Kostova, who had qualified as a midwife in her home country, was “losing it”, Mrs Wilkinson said.
“She just seemed to be out of control with what she was saying.
“I have been a nurse for a long time and I have never witnessed anybody saying anything like that at all and she did appear to be almost losing it really.”
The tribunal heard that the patient had been in the hospital just over a month receiving treatment for kidney stones when the incident took place just after 3am on July 22, 2010.
He was said to be aggressive in his speech or manner around 80% of the time and usually had a one-to-one carer looking after him who would sometimes need the assistance of another if the patient became particularly difficult.
On this occasion, that carer went for a break, leaving Kostova in charge.
The hearing comes after a damning report into failings at the hospital, which found “appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of patients”.
The NMC panel is deliberating the facts of the case. An overall verdict is expected Wednesday or Thursday, a spokeswoman said.
Kostova was suspended after the incident and has not worked at the hospital since, Mid Staffs Trust’s medical director said.
Robert Courteney-Harris said: “This incident was dealt with very swiftly when it happened in 2010. The member of staff was suspended pending our investigation and never returned to work at our Trust.”
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