Nurse put his hands round patient’s neck

A NURSE struck off for putting his hands around the neck of a dementia patient and forcing him to his bed says he regrets his moment of madness.

Rolf Beard (38) grabbed the man after he raised both hands and appeared to lunge at him at Ashfield Community Hospital in Kirkby.

He was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council after being found guilty of misconduct.

Speaking this week, Mr Beard said his behaviour was unprofessional and he wished he had not acted the way he did.

Said Mr Beard: “I feel I have let myself down. It was a time of personal stress for me as I had split with my (partner) who I had gone out with for 18 years.

“I should have waited for support but I grabbed him in an inappropriate way and got him into bed and did not report it.”

Mr Beard said it was a new ward with low staff levels and he did not feel he could take time off.

The nurse also failed to record the incident in the patient’s clinical notes or in an incident report.

It was reported instead by a colleague who witnessed it at the time. Speaking last week, Mr Beard said he was not the only person on duty and there were others who could have reported the incident.

A conduct and competence committee held at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was told how the incident happened at Ashfield Community Hospital on 29th May 2005, between midnight-1am.

Mr Beard was seen by an auxiliary nurse, Yvonne Greensmith, in the patient’s room as she walked along the corridor.

The committee report says: “She saw (patient) A raise both hands as if he were about to put them around the registrant’s (Mr Beard) neck.

“The door to the bedroom closed momentarily. Miss Greensmith opened the door and on entering saw the registrant with both hands around service user A’s neck, pulling him forcefully back onto the bed.”

The panel found Mr Beard unfit to practice due to his misconduct during the incident and because he had failed to provide any satisfactory explanation for his behaviour.

He did not attend the hearing but in a letter to the NMC, dated August 2009, he wrote ‘the incident made me carefully consider my nursing career and I finally decided not to practice anymore as I could not risk getting so stressed again that I could put a vulnerable person in danger.’

Mr Beard said he was now doing security work and does not intend to go back into nursing but he may appeal the decision.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust - which runs the hospital where the incident happened - said it welcomed the action taken against Mr Beard.

The spokesman also stressed that the trust takes all allegations seriously to ensure patient safety.

“When this allegation was made immediate steps were taken to ensure the member of staff had no further patient contact and appropriate support was provided to the patient,” said the spokesman.

“Subsequently, following a full investigation, the member of staff was dismissed.

“We are delighted that the Nursing and Midwifery Council upheld our decision.”