A DISGRACED nurse who began fighting with a disabled nursing home resident over a cigarette has been struck off the medical register.
Angela Marsh, from Leigh, was found guilty of misconduct while working at a care home in Warrington by a health committee at the Old Bailey and prevented from working in nursing for five years.
The panel heard how Marsh, of Hope Street, pushed the female service user several times during an aggressive confrontation in the early hours of the morning over whether the resident could have a cigarette or not.
Witnesses told the hearing the service user became aggressive towards Marsh and another member of staff, shouting and screaming.
During this confrontation Mrs Marsh, who had been a registered nurse for 30 years and had a previously unblemished record, twice pushed the resident, on one occasion hitting part of her back on a folded wheelchair, but she then managed to defuse and calm the situation.
However, when Marsh gave another service user a cigarette shortly afterwards the resident snatched it out of his hands.
Marsh and the resident then became involved in a scuffle for the cigarette before Mrs Marsh pushed her again, causing her to fall and hit the back of her head on a brick wall.
In written evidence to the panel, Marsh, who did not attend the hearing, said she had been frightened by the resident’s behaviour, describing it as a violent attack.
She also claimed that a threat was made to her life.
The panel concluded that Marsh had acted reasonably during the first confrontation in the home, but the second incident was unnecessary and involved unacceptable levels of force against the service user.
The panel also concluded that Marsh’s decision to pin the service user’s head between her knees, which she said was done to ensure the safety of staff and residents, was an unreasonable use of force as there was no longer any danger following the fall.
The hearing also found shortcomings in the way the resident’s injuries were checked by Marsh following the incident, which took place at Radcliffe Meadows Nursing Home in Culcheth in September 2010.
Striking her off the register for five years, the panel decided Marsh’s actions “did fall seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse” and brought the profession into disrepute.
An interim suspension order lasting 18 months was made to allow for any appeals.