Monday 18 December 2017
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Almondsbury care home nurse struck off for bullying

A care home nurse who force-fed sandwiches to a patient has been struck off for her bullying and abusive behaviour.

For 18 years Paula Ralph ran the Milestone Trust's Crantock Drive care home in Almondsbury, which housed eight adults with learning difficulties.

A tribunal concluded her actions amounted to serious misconduct made worse by her senior role.

The trust said it took "prompt" action once Mrs Ralph's actions came to light.
'Self-harming patient'

CEO of the trust John Hoskinson said: "We encourage staff and support them in the process of reporting poor practice which was done in this case and we acted on it promptly.

"We conducted our own detailed investigation and took appropriate action."

Support workers raised their concerns over Mrs Ralph's behaviour in 2013.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council tribunal in London heard the senior nurse abused her position of trust by encouraging one patient at the South Gloucestershire care home to poke another with a walking stick and by repeatedly manhandling and swearing at patients.

A former colleague, who did not want to be named, told the BBC: "There was a lady there that was self-harming on her wrist but Paula said to her in a room, 'if you continue doing that to your wrist you won't be able to go out anywhere because you can't be seen out with cuts on your wrist'.

"She was being punished after she had cut herself horrifically."

The care home worker left after being bullied by Mrs Ralph but felt too scared to make a complaint.

"There were very elderly people there - so if you grab an elderly woman by the arm and pull her, that's probably quite painful," the colleague added.

The panel also said Mrs Ralph failed to act as role model and displayed harassing and intimidating behaviour in her workplace.

Mrs Ralph can appeal against the tribunal's ruling.