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Nurse stuffs tape roll in dementia patient's mouth

The Local · 19 Sep 2012, 12:37

Published: 19 Sep 2012 12:37 GMT+02:00

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“We’re taking this very seriously and have filed a Lex-Sarah report,” said the head of the home to the local Smålandsposten newspaper.

The incident occurred at an elderly care home in Växjö, southern Sweden, and was reported by one of the nurse’s colleagues last week.

According to the paper, the nurse forced the tape roll into the mouth of the dementia-sufferer when attempts to subdue the patient’s aggressiveness failed.

Carema Care, the nursing home operator in charge of the facility, is currently investigating the incident.

“When such an incident occurs we get right to the bottom of it. There’s not a stone left unturned. It’s not just about the incident but also why it happened, how it could have happened, and what we need to fix so it won’t happen again,” said Carema Care spokesperson Susanne Bodin Eklöf to the paper.

“It’s quite a long chain of events that need to be thoroughly investigated to prevent mistakes from happening again.”

The complaint was filed according to Sweden's Lex-Sarah laws, which oblige staff in the care industry to report instances of patient mistreatment to social services.

Carema Care was hit by a series of scandals last year, when a slew of incidents ranging from unchanged diapers to poor working environments saw patients suffering due to cost-cutting.

The scandals led to raised concerns at the time for tightened quality control of elderly homes as well as an ongoing debate about the role and responsibilities of private companies operating in the care sector.

The nurse has since been fired.

Story continues below…

“The person in question has engaged in conduct which should never occur and the other workers have been informed of the dismissal,” wrote Carema Care in a statement on Wednesday, according to the TT news agency

TT/The Local/og

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Your comments about this article

14:36 September 19, 2012 by qamar
there will be a great THELOCAL readers who will now start writing about the Nurse identity and will start mentioning that the nurse would be an immigrant.so carry on great leaders without evidence and without knowledge.
15:01 September 19, 2012 by entry
"An assistant nurse has been reported after forcing a roll of tape into the mouth of a patient with dementia"

If true, I consider that to be punitive and unresponsive to the needs of the patient.

No excuses regarding the accusations stipulated.

Those of us who have experience in the care of stroke, dementia or mentally unstable individuals know full well that it is very easy to be brought to tears in frustration. Employees with no family attachment to the inflicted patient have my sympathy as long as they perform their duties in a fiduciary manner. How do you provide resources and training? I do not know. -Paul
16:34 September 19, 2012 by Borilla
#2 if you can't do the job properly then get another job. The fact that dementia patients may be difficult to deal with does not mean one can abuse them. An assistant nurse who forces a roll of tape into a patient's mouth should be subject to punitive measures. It is responsive to the needs of the patient in that perhaps it will prevent another such incident. Carema fails again. One needs more than simply a low bid for services. Until there are specific requirements for staffing and training such things will continue to happen.
16:48 September 19, 2012 by cattie
Privatized health care requires legal consequences whcih will will make a difference to the bottom line in order to be truly accountable.

A cheap..."unfortunately" will never encourage a for-profit enterprise to implement practices to protect their weak, vulnerable (and in the case of most older swedes) naive patients. To a for-profit enterprise patients are profit not people.

It is the job of the government, who privatized this health care service, to enact enforceable rules to protect paitents, and when that fails, the consequence should hurt the profit of the business.
16:56 September 19, 2012 by Great Scott
Welcome to private health care.
18:39 September 19, 2012 by jostein

Ethnicity of assitant and the old person is not yet known. But it is probable statistically since most assistants in geriatrics are colonists and most old people are swedes.

It is also probable from a human perspective since us humans have a tendency to dehumanize people of a different ethnic group than our own. And working as an assistant in geriatrics is no picknic.

Then again, that some msm outlets brought this up and new media did not is an indication that no colonist was involved.
07:39 September 20, 2012 by kloster
Kommune´s like Carema as they are the cheapest and what could be more important ? There are 92 old age pensioners residing at the Tallbohov nursing home, run by care company Carema, in the Stockholm suburb of Järfälla.

Staff and ex-employees have told DN that there often wasn't enough toilet paper, paper towlesl, alco gel, or soap to keep the place or the patients clean.

Sometimes, staff told the paper, the toilets would be so filthy that staff wouldn't sit down on them.

According to the staff, the management want them to do all cleaning, as well as repairing medical equipment, by themselves.

"But we haven't the time nor the expertise to do that," an ex-employee said to the paper.

The day before health inspectors were due this year, an army of cleaners arrived at the home. All areas were thoroughly vacuumed and scoured, and all dispensers of soap, alco gel, toilet paper and rubber gloves in the pensioners' rooms were filled up.

"Carema ought to be ashamed of themselves. They should keep the place clean both for the elderly and for the staff. Not to scam the inspectors," said one of the nurses to DN.

The cleaning used to be done by two cleaners but in a bid to save money, the company chose to add it to the staff responsibilities.

The need to make economies have also had another, more dire, consequence according to the staff who claim that the management question every prescription that would cost them money.

Another area where savings have been made are the residents' beds.

Earlier this spring one resident's bed broke, which was solved by requisitioning that of another patient, making him sleep on the floor for several months.

A third patient was too tall for his bed, but it took six months before he was given a new one, despite pleas from staff who were forced to tie his bed together, according tot he DN report.

"And when something ran out, it was out. Whether it was a question of diapers, food or toilet paper."

According to the employees, management solved staff shortages by making personnel from other departments fill in 20 minutes here and there over the course of the day.

When staff tried to complain they were met with understanding. Eventually they went straight to the municipality's medical officer.

This was not appreciated by Carema's management, which told them that anything that happened at the home should stay within the walls of the facility.
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