Rough nurse ordered to pay $27,000

MARTY SHARPE
Last updated 05:00 12/03/2014

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A Hawke's Bay mental health nurse who used unreasonable force on a patient has been ordered to pay $27,350.

Paul Jury lost his job with the Hawke's Bay District Health Board a few days after the incident in 2010, which involved a 76-year-old woman who was just 1.5 metres tall.

Jury had spent 13 years as an inpatient mental health nurse and had worked for the DHB's mental health inpatient services for 10 years when the incident occurred.

The victim suffered paranoid schizophrenia and was known to become violent, disruptive and abusive.

On the evening of November 24, 2010, she became agitated after being told to smoke in the designated smoking area. She pushed a nurse and later came into the lounge area covered in her own faeces. She was taken to a bath.

Jury, who was the senior nurse on shift at the time, made derogatory remarks within her hearing and left her lying in the bath after he emptied the water.

When the woman was later moved to a seclusion room, witnesses saw Jury push his knee into her back and cause her to cry out in pain.

Jury accepted he had used an unapproved form of restraint and said he regretted using it. He apologised to the woman's family in writing. Jury was also found to have failed to adequately document the care provided to the woman.

The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal found Jury guilty of professional misconduct after a four-day hearing last September. Its decision was released yesterday.

The tribunal noted Jury was suspended a few days after the incident and had not returned, and this had been punitive in itself.

Because of this, and Jury's financial circumstances, the tribunal did not impose a fine. It said if he wished to return to nursing he would need to undertake a course in managing challenging situations and would be supervised for six months.

He was ordered to pay $17,350 in costs to the health and disability commissioner and $10,000 to the Nursing Council.

Jury, who could not be contacted yesterday, appealed to the High Court but this was later withdrawn.

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- The Dominion Post

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