NMC v Padmini Devi Ranjith

“Health Care Assistant, Mrs Ranjith, sat the resident in a bucket chair on her own, tipped the chair back, and put his feet up which prevented the resident from free movement.”

Allegations (found proved)

  • It is alleged that on 26 March 2019, Mrs Ranjith physically assaulted a resident in the form of forced feeding.
  • It is alleged that Mrs Ranjith asked Colleague A, a HCA, for help to put the resident in a bucket chair, which Colleague A refused to do.
  • It is alleged that Mrs Ranjith had admitted, in the internal investigation, that she then sat the resident in a bucket chair on her own, tipped the chair back, and put his feet up which prevented the resident from free movement.
  • It is alleged that subsequently the resident had started to shout and hit Mrs Ranjith, and she had then asked Colleague A for assistance in holding the resident’s hands, which the Colleague A refused to do, whilst she administered a fortified fluid drink.
  • It is alleged that Colleague A tried to tell Mrs Ranjith that the resident had had enough.

Findings

The panel accepts that Mrs Ranjith’s actions were probably well intentioned but nevertheless it was of the view that Mrs Ranjith’s actions did fall significantly short of the standards expected of a registered nurse, and that Mrs Ranjith’s actions amounted to serious misconduct and impaired fitness to practise.

Sanction

Aggravating features:

  • Not a single incident of misconduct, although occurred over a short period of time;
  • There is some evidence of an attitudinal issue although the main issue is with regards to keeping her clinical practice up to date;
  • Limited engagement with the local investigation as well as the NMC proceedings;
  • Mrs Ranjith encouraged another member of staff to follow her inappropriate practice;
  • Mrs Ranjith’s actions could have resulted in serious harm to Resident A;

Mitigating features:

  • Although misguided, Mrs Ranjith was well intended

 

The panel was of the view that the misconduct was not fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register and that insight demonstrated, the misconduct could be remediated.

The panel acknowledged that a suspension order may have a punitive effect, it would be unduly punitive in Mrs Ranjith’scase to impose a striking-off order

Balancing all of these factors the panel has concluded that a suspension order would be the appropriate and proportionate sanction (including a 18 month interim order to cover appeal periods).

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