Suspension for nurse who dragged patient

Cross Lane Hospital

Cross Lane Hospital

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A mental health nurse has been suspended for nine months after a tribunal heard how he dragged a woman across the corridor of a Scarborough hospital.

David Miller pulled the woman 15ft along a carpeted floor at Cross Lane Hospital in March 2011.

Miller was working on an acute female mental health in-patient ward at Cross Lane Hospital, when the patient saw staff smoking outside.

He had previously stopped the woman smoking and she ‘charged’ at him swearing and waving her finger, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard, last week.

But rather than trying to calm her down verbally or ringing his emergency alarm for help, Miller restrained her and pulled her along the floor by her arms.

The NMC heard the wound was “red, wet and weeping” and was visible more than four weeks.

The tribunal was also that the patient had a history of being physically aggressive and a number of convictions relating to assaults.

Miller admitted dragging the patient along the floor by her arms.

He has also admitted failing to seek assistance from his colleagues, documenting the incident or providing details in handover but the tribunal found him guilty of misconduct

Miller, who was dismissed from the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust in January 2013, was suspended for nine months after admitting misconduct.

NMC panel chair Yvonne Brown said Mr Miller’s actions “breached fundamental principles of the nursing profession”.

She said: “Although your misconduct was isolated in nature and occurred in an otherwise unblemished nursing career, it caused direct physical harm to a particularly vulnerable patient, who had the right to be treated with respect and be provided with an appropriate standard of care.”

In February 2012 Miller was found not guilty at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court of assaulting the patient.