April 6, 2022 2.25 pm

Boston care worker suspended for swearing and “dragging” resident who fell over

A number of charges were proven against her

A nurse at a Boston care home has been handed an 18 month interim suspension after a scrutiny panel found her to have acted inappropriately in response to a resident falling over – swearing at them and “dragging” them to their feet.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Fitness to Practise Committee held a substantive hearing between Monday, March 28 and Thursday, March 31, investigating the actions of then-registered nurse Nicola Jane Lovell during an incident at Westfield Nursing Home on Sleaford Road, Boston.

On June 8, 2020, it was alleged that the adult nursing staff worker had used incorrect handling techniques following an unwitnessed fall from a resident, as well as not making adequate assessments, failing to carry out required documentation, conveying the resident in an inappropriate manner, and using swear words aimed at the resident.

After the resident fell, Lovell was found to have said “for f*** sake” before lifting the resident without verbal reassurance, taking the resident to their room at a pace that was unmatchable for the resident (even described as them being “dragged”) before declaring words to the extent of: “you might f*****g sleep now”.

An internal investigation was launched on June 23, in which it was found that while a post-accident observation was completed, it was seen as only basic and not enough to maintain care standards.

During the local investigation by the care provider, Miss Lovell categorically denied the allegations, calling them “an absolute fabrication of the truth” and going as far as to say that she might have been misheard, instead suggesting she said “duck”.

Two witnesses were called to present evidence: A fellow carer at the time of the charges, and the operational support manager for Country Court Care, who both supported the claims that Miss Lovell acted inappropriately in both her language and actions to get the resident off the floor.

Witness one, the fellow carer, saw the incident and gave “consistent and credible” evidence to the panel at the hearing, including an email that was sent to staff at Country Care Court on June 12, to outline what they had seen and heard.

Witness two provided the care company’s fall procedure in evidence, as well as the transcript of their local investigation, in which it was made clear to Lovell that she had breached standards.

It was also mentioned that the incident had a significant impact on witness one, who has since left their role at the care home as a result.

Lovell herself was not at the hearing, and had put in a request for the hearing to be private as a result of her health issues. The panel agreed to hear of health issues in private, but kept the hearing open as it was in the public interest.

The panel concluded that all charges were found proven, and while no evidence of actual harm were present, it was of the view that the facts presented during the hearing proved neglectful treatment of a vulnerable resident, without care or compassion.

Miss Lovell was given an 18 month interim suspension order that will be reviewed by another panel after one year, ensuring that an order was in place in case the decision was appealed.

You can read the full Nursing and Midwifery Council report here.