‘Punch threat’ care worker faces the axe

Mariebel Dy worked as a nurse at North Merchiston Care Home. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Mariebel Dy worked as a nurse at North Merchiston Care Home. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A NURSE accused of threatening to punch a resident at a city care home faces being struck off.

Mariebel Dy is also accused of raising her fists to the resident and pinning the woman’s arms to the bed using an “inappropriate level of force” to restrain her.

In another incident, it is alleged she gave medication to residents without their knowledge by placing it in their food or drink after they had refused drugs.

The allegations relate to time that Ms Dy worked at North Merchiston Care Home, owned by healthcare provider Four Seasons, on various dates between September 2009 and June 2010.

It is understood Ms Dy no longer works at the facility situated in the Polwarth area of the city, and that a whistle-blowing policy employed at the care home was used to bring the allegations to light.

Among the other charges due to be put to the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) conduct and competence committee are that she placed a table in front of a woman’s chair to prevent her from standing and pushed or pulled a resident back into her chair as she attempted to stand.

It is also claimed she “failed to take any action” when a colleague informed her that a resident was “pale, drowsy and had a high temperature” and that she failed to refer a resident complaining of chest pains to a doctor, telling him it was “hunger pangs”.

A spokesman for Four Seasons Health Care, which owns the home, declined to comment ahead of the hearing on June 27.

The conduct of Ms Dy will be discussed in a private meeting of the NMC’s conduct and competence committee at its Edinburgh HQ in George Street, where it will be alleged that her fitness to practice is “impaired by reason of [her] misconduct”.

She faces a total of 13 charges.

The NMC does not comment on cases which are pending a decision.

North Merchiston Care Home, based in Watson Crescent, provides nursing and social care within six units: two residential care units, two general nursing units and two specialist support units. All placements at the home are arranged by the council.

It is the latest in a series of NMC hearings against nurses from the Lothians, including mental health nurse Christopher Westwood, who was struck off after delaying a seriously ill patient’s ambulance journey to A&E while he finished a coffee and went to the toilet, and gave a drug to the wrong patient at St John’s Hospital in Livingston and Craigshill Care Facility both in West Lothian.

He was cleared of another allegation that he failed to notice a patient had died, but the NMC ruled that Mr Westwood had “breached fundamental tenets of the profession”.