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Boss who force fed dementia sufferer is struck off

By Mike Cotton, Town Reporter Sunday 12th January 2014

A manager at a BUPA care home caught trying to force feed a dementia sufferer has been struck off following a hearing in London.

 

Unit manager Janet Portman was overheard shouting 'eat' at the elderly woman on the Ferrymoor Unit of the Hall Steads Residential Nursing Home, Stacey Crescent, Grimethorpe.

 

She also told the patient: "Get this in now or you will have this gel stuffed down your throat."

 

A relative visiting another resident was left 'astounded and shocked' after witnessing the incident.

 

Portman was sacked in March 2012 for gross misconduct. She accepted during an internal investigation that she had said 'eat' and 'eat that now' to the frail woman.

 

She had maintained she had to raise her voice as the patient wore a hearing aid, and that it had been essential she eat after suffering a hypoglycaemic attack two days earlier.

 

But the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel considered the actions distressing to residents and their families and set a bad example to her colleagues.

 

Chairman Polly Clarke said: "It undermined Resident A’s autonomy and diminished her dignity."

 

She said the 'degree of humiliation' could have resulted in 'psychological harm' to the patient.

 

The panel cleared Portman of an allegation that she pushed the woman back into her chair due to insufficient evidence.

 

Portman's name has been struck from the register and she will not be able to apply for restitution for five years.

 

A spokesman for the home said: "The behaviour of Janet Portman, a fully qualified and experienced nurse, was unacceptable. We dismissed her in 2012 and reported her actions to relevant authorities."