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Nurse and HCA cleared of care home neglect

A nurse and two HCA's have been cleared of all charges after they were accused of neglecting an 87-year-old woman who suffered third degree burns whilst at a care home.

Alzheimer's sufferer Violet Smith was taken to hospital in January 2008 after being severely burned when she was placed on a commode of hot water at the Charlton Centre for Alzheimer's and Dementia, Batley, West Yorkshire, where she had been a patient since 2000.

Registered nurse Andrea Garrick, 38, and care assistants Jodie Atkinson and Danielle Schofield, both 22, appeared before Leeds Crown Court charged with wilful neglect, but Judge Geoffrey Marson QC ruled there was no case to answer and discharged the three defendants.

Prior to the incident Ms Garrick, of Bevor Crescent, Heckmondwike; Ms Atkinson, of Doubting Road, Dewsbury, and Ms Schofield, of Thornton Road, Dewsbury, had assisted Ms Smith onto the commode in an attempt to treat constipation and haemorrhoids.

Ms Atkinson told the court she would never have placed the pensioner on the commode if she thought it was unsafe and asked Ms Garrick about the safety procedures involved.

She said: "She said it was safe because she had done the practice before."


Readers' comments (3)

  • Are these three completely devoid of common sense!!! To sit a patient on a commode with very hot water in it, brings about one outcome...BURNS, I am not in possession of the facts so cannot comment further.
    Judith Willis RGN

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  • How on earth can the judge say there was no case to answer is beyond me!! If a patient was burnt because of this ridiculous method of treating constipation then who is?????!!!!!
    How would the judge have felt if it had been his relative!!!

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  • This is why Nurses and Health Care assistants need to broaden their skills and knowledge.Nursing should be taught at a degree level and Health Care Assistants should be involved in mandatory N.V.Q. trainnings.

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