'Nurse hurled abuse at OAP in care home'
AN agency nurse stuck two fingers up at an elderly dementia sufferer before repeatedly swearing at her, a tribunal heard.
Elizabeth Gately could be struck off the nursing register amid claims she shouted and swore at the pensioner, at Amberley House, in Bentilee.
She is also said to have told healthcare assistants to take the woman away from her, the hearing was told.
Gately was working her first shift at the nursing home just two months after the centre had opened.
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Now she has been brought before the Nursing and Midwifery Council after an investigation into her conduct was launched.
If found guilty of misconduct she could be kicked out of the profession permanently.
The case comes following concerns over the quality of care at Amberley House, which was investigated by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire Police last year.
The frail resident was said to have been left 'distraught' after Gately's alleged outburst.
Her tirade of abuse was allegedly sparked after the woman picked up a yellow 'wet floor' sign and was reluctant to put it down.
Outlining the case at the tribunal in London yesterday, solicitor Joanna Dirmikis said: "She appears to have been hanging around the drugs trolley with the nurse within the corridor.
"She may have been bothering the nurse a bit.
"The care assistants were actually trying to run a bath and they heard some sort of commotion going on in the corridor where the nurse was and also where the resident was."
Care assistant Amanda Matthews went to see what was happening and found the woman extremely distressed, the tribunal heard.
Miss Matthews said she had been running a bath for another patient when she heard the woman – who has not been named – screaming.
When she went into the corridor she saw Gately prising a yellow 'wet floor' sign away from the woman, who had a habit of picking up objects and became upset if someone took them away from her.
"I saw Mrs Gately raise her fingers behind her head before swearing at her," she said.
"She swore several times."
Gately then gave the elderly woman a two-fingered salute, she added.
The offences allegedly took place at 7.30pm on July 10 2009.
Gately is accused of shouting at a resident, swearing at a resident on more than one occasion, and making a rude gestrure towards a resident.
Gately, who did not attend the hearing, denies the charges.
Amberley House, a private care home, had been barred from taking in new admissions and forced to sack senior staff after concerns about the safety of its residents in the past.
Last year an investigation was carried out by police and the city council but no prosecutions were brought.
In February this year, the Care Quality Commission reported 'significant improvements' at the home.
The hearing continues.