A NURSE has been sanctioned after displaying an “inappropriate attitude” towards a dementia patient at a care home in Gwynedd.

Mary Bukuru was handed a one-year conditions of practice order following a hearing before the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Fitness to Practice Committee, which concluded on March 28.

She was working as an agency nurse at Meddyg Care’s dementia nursing home in Porthmadog when the incident in question took place.


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The hearing was told that, on August 11, 2020, Mrs Bukuru was working a night shift at the home when one of the residents – referred to as “Patient A” – required pain relief medication.

It was alleged that she refused to give the medication to Patient A, who had dementia and complications due to a stroke and has since died, as she was “fed up” of him.

This was said to have developed into an argument between the two, with Mrs Bukuru not escalating the matter, further agitating Patient A.

As the incident progressed, she was in the nurse’s station and allegedly tried to close the door, only for Patient A to use his Zimmer frame to keep it open.

It was also alleged that, when she let go of the door, Patient A fell down hard and hit his head, causing injuries and bleeding.

Mrs Bukuru allegedly proceeded to shout at Patient A while he was on the floor and used inappropriate language. 

The following day, she resigned from her position at the home, having said she was scared of Patient A and had been securing herself in the nurse’s station to protect herself.

She added that Patient A had lost his balance and fell on his own.

During the hearing, three witnesses said while giving evidence that Patient A had used racist language to Mrs Bukuru, though it was considered a possibility that his dementia caused him to behave in this manner.

In a statement, one of the witnesses said: “I saw him pushing the door and her pushing back. It was a good battle with the door.

“He is pushing the Zimmer frame in the door and she was a large-ish lady. It got pretty rough.

“Mary was shouting and pointing with her finger at him. She said that she ‘had enough of him’ and kept repeating this. She said that she wanted (him) out of her sight.

“(He) was lying flat on the floor at the time. I cannot remember what he said to her.

“She was saying to him: ‘You are a really horrible, wicked man. You are a horrible, horrible man’. She was irate at the time.”

Another witness added: “She was saying that she’d had enough of him. She had enough of the way that he was treating her as his nurse.

“She was calling him names, calling him a ‘b******’ and things”.

A third witness said: “Mary was standing over him and shouting. She kept saying that he had done this on purpose and that he had not really hurt himself.”

They added that Mrs Bukuru said the patient had “done this for attention”, while it was also claimed that she wanted two colleagues to “drag him out by his feet to his room,” but they refused to do so.

She was also accused of having asked a colleague to listen in to a telephone conversation between Patient A and his wife.

Mrs Bukuru admitted in her oral evidence that she said to Patient A he had “done this on purpose”.

The following allegations were found proved against Mrs Bukuru:

  • Attempting to close the door when Patient A tried to access the nurse’s station.
  • Applying inappropriate pressure to the door, causing him to become unstable and fall.
  • Not conducting or documenting observations in respect of Patient A.
  • Engaging in a further argument with him after his fall.
  • Displaying an inappropriate attitude towards him.

Mrs Bukuru said she had received “frequent racial verbal abuse” from Patient A, and felt he disliked her from the day he was admitted to the home.

She said she reported his behaviour towards her to the home manager, with a colleague also reporting to the manager that Patient A was treating her unfairly.

In her evidence, she added that she has reflected with her relatives on the incident, and feels the charges proved against her are not in her nature.

Mrs Bukuru, who has worked as a registered nurse for more than 25 years, had an “unblemished career” prior to this referral.

Per the terms of her conditions of practise order, Mrs Bukuru must work for a single substantive employer for the duration that it lasts, and must undertake training in caring for dementia patients and in incident management.

She must also keep the Nursing and Midwifery Council informed of anywhere she is working and studying throughout the time that the order is in place.

Mrs Bukuru has the right to appeal the ruling within 28 days of it being made.