A CARE home worker accused of abusing and neglecting residents was described as “the worst example of a nurse” at a disciplinary hearing.
Geraldine San Diego is accused of organising small, cold portions of food for one resident she branded “fat” and to have repeatedly prodded another pensioner with a pen.
The nurse at Colinton Care Home allegedly removed another resident’s false teeth at meal times and then fed the person roughly with an inappropriately large spoon.
The 45-year-old faces complaints relating to six residents at the home, all of which are alleged to have happened between 2014 and 2015. She denied all the charges at a hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in Edinburgh.
The NMC, which claims Ms San Diego’s fitness to practise is impaired, allege that Resident 1 “was only given cold sandwiches at mealtimes despite other residents being offered a hot meal”.
They add that the nurse “deliberately gave the resident smaller portions of food and/or drink than you gave to other residents”.
Asked by Resident 1 why she was being treated this way, Ms San Diego is said to have replied “’Because you’re too fat and you need to go on a diet’ or words to that effect”.
Oliver Pointon, who was a care assistant at the time of the alleged incidents, gave evidence.
Panel member Stuart Gray told Mr Pointon: “When your statement was taken, you described the registrant as ‘the worst example of a nurse that I have worked with’.
“That is quite a profound statement. Is that how you feel?”
Mr Pointon replied: “Yes, that is how I felt at the time – I had worked at previous care homes before.”
Ms San Diego was convicted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in August last year of assaulting an 89-year-old female patient at the same care home by throwing balls of tin foil at her between January and May 2015. She was given a nine month community payback order.
At the NMC hearing this week, Ms San Diego’s legal representative, Michael Briggs, claimed the police inquiry had clouded the care home’s investigation. Mr Briggs also suggested to witness Oliver Pointon that some of his evidence might be exaggerated or false, asking why he had not reported the matters sooner.
Colinton Care home said in a statement: “When in 2015 one of our carers raised concerns about the conduct of nurse Geraldine Sandiego, she was suspended from duty in line with our normal precautionary practice.”
The home added that its first consideration is for the wellbeing of the people in its care.