A NURSE who threatened to cut dying dementia patient’s throat has been kicked out of the profession.
Joshua Lenyatsa mocked elderly residents Donwell House, Washington, Tyne and Wear, calling one ‘wacko-jacko’ in a reference to the late Michael Jackson.
He threatened to slit a distressed pensioner’s throat and threatened to break a patient’s arms during a night shift in May 2013, a tribunal found.
Lenyatsa teased one upset resident by telling him ‘your wife loves me,’, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
Donwell House provides palliative and end-of-life care for the elderly and dementia.
Panel chairman Kenneth Caley said: ‘Mr Lenyatsa’s actions in taunting, teasing and threatening patients and failing to respond to their needs caused a quite unwarranted risk of harm to patients.
‘The panel was also mindful of the possible negative psychological impact that Mr Lenyatsa’s actions may have had on both his colleagues and patients.
‘The panel considered that Mr Lenyatsa’s misconduct brought the profession into disrepute and is liable to in the future.
‘It was of the view that his actions, in failing to treat colleagues and those in his care appropriately or with respect and dignity, amongst other things, breached several fundamental tenets of the profession.
‘We considered that this was serious misconduct and determined that Mr Lenyatsa has failed to demonstrate any insight or provide any information in relation to remediation or remorse.
‘The panel was mindful that Mr Lenyatsa is not engaging at all with NMC proceedings and in light of this, considered that there is a high risk of repetition of his misconduct in the future.’
Lenyatsa had ‘antagonised’ one resident, known as Patient A, larking around and telling him ‘your wife loves me,’ the panel heard.
Later Patient A became upset and demanded that he be taken home, but Lenyatsa’s response was to say: ‘I am coming home with you in the morning; you said that I could, you even signed a piece of paper to say that you agreed that I could come home with you and your wife.’
In the same shift the registrant pressurised a carer into providing medication for Patient A even after she had told him she was not qualified to do so.
‘On the same shift it is also alleged that at around 6am the registrant was assisting with Patient E who was agitated at the time,’ said Mary Deignan, for the NMC.
‘Patient E asked whether the registrant had a knife, and it is said that Mr Lenyatsa responded that he did have a knife and was going to slit Patient E’s throat.’
The panel heard just 45 minutes later Lenyatsa failed to react when an emergency buzzer was sounded.
When a colleague asked why he was sitting around Lenyatsa replied: ‘What can I do?’
On the same morning Lenyatsa inappropriately restrained Patient A, who was flailing his arms around in agitation.
Lenyatsa pinned the resident down with his arms shoved against his chest and threatened: ‘I’m going to break your arms now because that’s what you want me to do, isn’t it?’
Lenyasta is reported to have said during the same shift: ‘If anyone kicks off tonight don’t get me because I can’t be bothered.’
Lenyatsa taunted another resident who had complained that he was feeding her teaspoons of water too quickly.
He responded by moving about in slow motion and holding the spoon high above her head and out of her reach.
Lenyatsa branded another resident ‘wacko-jacko’, the committee ruled.
An investigation was launched and Lenyatsa was suspended, but resigned from his post on 30 May 2013.
Mr Caley added: ‘The panel considers that there has been a serious departure from the relevant standards as set out in the Code.
‘Furthermore, it determined that there is no evidence of insight, remorse or remediation in this case and there is a serious risk to the public should Mr Lenyatsa continue to work as a registered nurse.
‘Given the serious nature of the misconduct found proved, the panel has concluded that confidence in the profession and its regulator, and the need to uphold and declare proper professional standards, would be undermined if he were to remain on the register.
‘The panel has therefore determined that a striking-off order is the only sufficient and proportionate sanction which will protect the public and address the wider public interest.
‘The panel is of the view that Mr Lenyatsa’s inappropriate behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continuing to be registered with the NMC.
‘The panel therefore determined to impose a striking-off order.’
A copy of the decision will be posted to Lenyatsa, who was not present or represented at the hearing and made no formal admission to any of the charges.
He has 28 days to lodge an appeal, after which he cannot apply to re-register for at least five years.
The committee reached its decision after hearing ‘credible’ witness evidence from a series of Lenyatsa’s colleagues, including one who labelled his behaviour as ‘mental torture’.
One, a care assistant, spoke of being ‘too frightened to have cross words’ with Lenyatsa and that she had fallen ill and left her job because of his behaviour.
The allegations that Joshua Lenyatsa faced:
Amended allegations: LENYATSA, Joshua
That you, whilst employed by Bondcare as a Registered Nurse at Donwell House (“the Home”), Donwell, Washington, Tyne and Wear:
1. On 26 May 2013 behaved inappropriately in relation to Patient A in that you:
1.1 Taunted and/or teased Patient A, including in that you stated:
1.1.1 “Your wife loves me” or words to that effect; PROVED
1.1.2 “I am coming home with you in the morning; you said that I could, you even signed a piece of paper to say that you agreed that I could come home with you and your wife” or words to that effect; PROVED
1.2. Restrained Patient A contrary to the Home Restraint Policy and/or when the use of restraint was not documented in his care plan; PROVED
1.3. Stated to Patient A during a restraint “I’m going to break your arms now because that’s what you want me to do isn’t it” or words to that effect; PROVED
2. On 26 May 2013 and when acting as nurse in charge inappropriately stated to care assistant staff “if anyone kicks off tonight don’t get me because I can’t be bothered” or word to that effect; PROVED
3. On 26 May 2013 ignored requests from care assistants to administer medication to Patient A and subsequently delayed the administration of medication to Patient A; PROVED
4. On 26 May 2013 between 06:45 and 07:00 delayed in responding to the emergency alarm and/or subsequent requests to assist with an emergency situation at the home; PROVED
5. On an unknown date between 10 October 2012 and 30 May 2013 taunted and/or teased Patient B when administering her water with a medicine spoon; PROVED
6. On an unknown date between 10 October 2012 and 30 May 2013 inappropriately referred to Patient C as “finger licking good”; PROVED
7. On an unknown date between 10 October 2012 and 30 May 2013 inappropriately referred to Patient D as “wacko-jacko”; PROVED
8. On or about 26 May 2013 inappropriately stated to Patient E “I have a knife and I am going to slit your throat” or words to that effect; PROVED
9. On one or more occasions between 10 October 2012 and 30 May 2013 inappropriately requested that care assistants administer medication to patients; PROVED
AND in light of the above, your fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your misconduct.
No formal admission to any of the charges.