Nurse struck off for kicking patient

Former care home nurse Sebastian Neequaye, 63, has been struck off.
Former care home nurse Sebastian Neequaye, 63, has been struck off.
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A CARE home nurse who booted an 84-year-old patient as if he was “kicking a football” has been struck off.

Sebastian Neequaye, 63, pictured, swung his leg back and kicked the pensioner across his buttocks with such force that he was thrown sideways, a hearing was told.

A shocked colleague told how the victim, referred to as Patient A, limped out of the lounge holding his backside and leg after the assault, which left him with significant bruising.

Neequaye was acquitted after a trial at Durham Crown Court in May 2010, but he was found guilty of the same attack after a hearing before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The regulator uses a lower burden of proof than criminal courts, where charges have to be proved beyond all reasonable doubt.

The hearing was told that the following morning, Neequaye also made inappropriate remarks about Patient A, an advanced dementia sufferer.

Panel chairman Michael Cann said: “Mr Neequaye’s actions caused direct harm to Patient A.

“The kick was clearly deliberate.

“Although the charges relate to an isolated incident, the panel has heard that he does have a lengthy disciplinary record and has previously been verbally abusive to patients.”

The incidents unfolded while Neequaye was working at Lindisfarne Care Home in Chester-le-Street, during a night shift on March 8, 2009.

The home cares for elderly residents, many of whom have Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Alexander Mills, for the NMC, said: “At around 11.30pm care assistant Lyndsey Crawford went into the lounge and saw Mr Neequaye standing behind Patient A.

“Patient A was playing with a weighing chair that was in the corner of the room.

“Mr Neequaye shouted at Patient A to ‘get off’.

“Patient A was slightly bent over with his hand holding on to the arms of the chair.

“Mr Neequaye swung his leg back and kicked Patient A across his bottom and the back of his legs, hitting across the left cheek to the bottom.

“Lyndsey Crawford described the kick as very hard and ‘in the manner you would kick a football’.”

The kick sent Patient A “staggering to the left of the scales”, where another resident was sitting, Mr Mills told the hearing.

Ms Crawford burst into tears while telling a colleague about the attack, and informed her boss.

The next morning, during a handover, Neequaye made remarks about Patient A to another nurse, Julie Burns, which included saying he had been a nuisance, the hearing was told.

The NMC panel ruled that Neequaye was guilty of misconduct and that his fitness to practice was impaired.

Cash-strapped Neequaye is suffering from serious financial problems, the panel heard.

He is now working at a care home in Northumberland.

Striking him off the register, Mr Cann added: “Mr Neequaye has expressed no regret or apology for his actions, although he did express regret at a patient being hurt while he was on duty.

“The panel has not received any explanation as to why Mr Neequaye assaulted Patient A.

“His actions are fundamentally incompatible with his continued registration.

“The serious misconduct involving kicking a highly vulnerable patient would mean public confidence in the profession would be undermined if Mr Neequaye was not struck off.”

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