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{UAH} Nurse sacked after 'giving patient Bible' can go back to work

Ikanos/ Annette Kobu/ Gwkoto/ Ocaya p'Ocure,

Do your remember this story of two years ago which we debated here, of this nurse who lost a high profile appeal against her dismissal from the NHS for preaching the bible to her patients? Some of Sister Sarah Kuteh's patients were  in the palliative care ward waiting to die. The NHS was so outraged by Kuteh's actions that they dismissed her instantly when they found out what she was doing. On appeal, Sister Kuteh's lawyers argued she actually did no harm to patients, that in fact her words were comforting to some who were facing imminent death. Sister Kuteh lost the case, but has now been reinstated- for many reasons; one being the NHS needs Nurses, and 2. She is acknowledged as a very good nurse who was  totally committed to her profession and to her patients

So is this face-saving for both parties?.


She told patients they'd have a better chance of living if they PRAYED

Christian nurse who was sacked after 'giving her patient a Bible' and saying they'd have a better chance of living if they PRAYED is allowed back to work

  • Two years ago Sister Sarah Kuteh was sacked for discussing faith with patients 
  • She was never accused of clinical failure but told she failed to respect diversity 
  • Tribunal ends sanctions saying she showed high level of insight into her failings 

Sister Sarah Kuteh has seen the sanctions on her lifted after she was sacked two years ago

Sister Sarah Kuteh has seen the sanctions on her lifted after she was sacked two years ago

A senior hospital nurse sacked for offering a Bible to a patient has had her working restrictions lifted, it was revealed yesterday.

A tribunal ended the sanctions after saying Sister Sarah Kuteh had demonstrated 'full remediation and a high level of insight in regard to your failings'.

The decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council comes two years after the 49-year-old was marched out of the Kent hospital where she worked and sacked for gross misconduct having discussed her faith with patients.

She was never accused of any clinical failure or wrongdoing, but was told by the regulator that her fitness to practice was impaired and she had failed to 'respect equality and diversity'.

She has been allowed to work in recent months only under the close supervision of a superior and in accordance with tight restrictions.

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The mother-of-three, who has been a nurse for 15 years, welcomed the regulator's decision yesterday and said being sacked and sanctioned had been 'embarrassing and very painful'.

The NMC was told that in February 2016 she had 'an inappropriate conversation' with a patient and their relative.

Mrs Kuteh, whose duties involved asking patients about their faith for a pre-op questionnaire, is understood to have asked the patient and relative whether they went to church, and suggested that they should.

Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, where Sarah Kuteh was sacked after she was said to have failed at respecting diversity

Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, where Sarah Kuteh was sacked after she was said to have failed at respecting diversity 

Between April and May she is said to have had 'one or more inappropriate conversations with patients about religion', and 'on an unknown date inappropriately gave a Bible to a patient'.

The nurse was suspended in June 2016 by Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, and sacked that August. Her dismissal was then upheld by an employment tribunal.

Nurse Sister Sarah Kuteh discusses her disciplinary on This Morning
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A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing considered her fitness to practise this spring, ruling she breached professional standards.

It said: 'Your misconduct goes to the heart of what is the foremost and indispensable responsibility of a registered nurse. The public would expect a nurse to understand the importance of, and respect, equality and diversity, to recognise, respect and uphold the rights of patients, and to put the care of patients at the forefront of their practice.'

This is the hospital at which Sarah Kuteh was accused of having one or more inappropriate conversations about religion

This is the hospital at which Sarah Kuteh was accused of having one or more inappropriate conversations about religion

The NMC verdict said there was 'a risk that you will, in the future, put patients at unwarranted risk of emotional harm, bring the profession into disrepute, and breach a fundamental tenet of the profession'.

However, in July, a panel who read her written submission noted that 'there have been no issues identified with your clinical practice' and that 'you have made significant progress'.

It said that removing sanctions on Mrs Kuteh would not undermine confidence in the profession, adding: 'It is in the public interest to return an otherwise experienced and competent nurse into practice.'

Mrs Kuteh, who has been working for a private nursing home, will now be able to practice without the close supervision of a superior and without obeying restrictions which include reporting all employment to the NMC, reporting the sanctions to employers, and meeting managers regularly to discuss her performance.

Yesterday, recalling the moment she was suspended, she said: 'I was walked out of that hospital after all I had done during all my years as a nurse and I was told I couldn't even speak to any of my colleagues.

'All I had done was to nurse and care for patients. How could it ever be harmful to tell someone about Jesus?'

Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, which backed Mrs Kuteh at the hearing, said her actions 'were wholly motivated by compassion', adding: 'But for the question on the pre-op questionnaire, these conversations would not have taken place.'

The staff battling for their beliefs

Sarah Kuteh is one of several Christian staff to have found their beliefs can land them in trouble.

However, the Government, courts and judges have given little protection to those in trouble at work after standing up for their faith.

In one case, European human rights judges overruled British courts and backed the right of British Airways worker Nadia Eweida (pictured, right) to wear a cross with her uniform.

But other test cases have ended in defeat for Christians.

Nurse Shirley Chaplin, from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, was told to stop wearing her cross in case it hurt an elderly patient who pulled it, or came into contact with a wound. 

Human rights judges in Strasbourg said bosses were right to put health and safety first.

Colleagues of council registrar Lilian Ladele in Islington, north London, complained after she said she would not conduct civil partnership ceremonies, but the European Court of Human Rights rejected her case.

Relate counsellor Gary McFarlane was sacked after missing a screening of the gay cowboy film Brokeback Mountain on a course for the relationship advice service. 

Human rights judges backed bosses who questioned him about his attitude to gay sex and feared he would refuse to help gay couples.

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