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Nurse denies tying elderly dementia sufferer to a chair at Northwick Park Hospital

PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 July 2013 | UPDATED: 19:00 16 July 2013

Northwick Park Hospital

Northwick Park Hospital

2006 Getty Images

Louise McGarry is claimed to have said she did it for ‘his own safety’

A nurse who left an 87-year-old dementia sufferer bound to a chair with a sheet at Northwick Park Hospital, told a supervisor it was for his own safety, a tribunal heard.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council were told the man had been admitted to the Fletcher Ward in the hospital in Watford Road, Sudbury, after becoming ill with vomiting and dehydration.

He was also suffering from Alzheimer’s and was claustrophobic when Thelma Birch inappropriately restrained him, it has been claimed.

Senior nurse Louise McGarry told the hearing how she found the pensioner, referred to as Patient A, bound to the chair in November 2007.

She said: “He was certainly secured to the chair.

“I know what I saw. I walked into the ward and Patient A was in the chair with a large sheet’.

She said she released him and he ‘repeated the words ‘thank you’.

When Ms McGarry confronted staff on the ward, she was met with ‘a lot of silence’ but eventually Birch responded by saying ‘he was tied up for his own safety.’

Ms McGarry claimed when she approached Birch to talk about the incident on another occasion she refused to discuss it.

Patient A’s daughter-in-law Chandra Mehta, an experienced nurse and midwife, told the hearing how she visited her relative with her daughter on November 10, 2007 and he told them he had been tied up all night.

He added: “You sort them out, because it is not right that I am treated this way.”

Birch now claims the patient was not tied up but wrapped in a sheet for warmth.

She denies inappropriately restraining Patient A claiming he was not tied up but wrapped in a sheet for warmth and denies her fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct.

The hearing continues.


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