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Stafford Hospital: Dementia Patient Abused
A health worker at Stafford Hospital dragged an elderly dementia patient around by his pyjamas before calling him an animal, a medical tribunal has heard.
Bonka Kostova, a Bulgarian-qualified midwife who was working as a healthcare assistant, was found to have physically and verbally abused the 73-year-old on a night shift in July 2010.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said her fitness to practise was "currently impaired by reason of her misconduct". It is expected to deliver its final verdict on Thursday.
Ms Kostova was found to have pulled the man, known only as patient A, out of a toilet cubicle using the collar of his pyjama top while his trousers were around his ankles.
She then shouted "I hate you" and "you are no longer a human being but an animal" or words to that effect, the NMC found.
Staff nurses intervened, taking Ms Kostova to one side and telling her that her behaviour was "unacceptable".
One of them said Bonnie, as she was known to her colleagues, was "losing it".
Ms Kostova had been left in charge of the patient - who was said to be aggressive in his speech or manner around 80% of the time - when his carer went for a break.
The tribunal was told she had received general training in looking after vulnerable adults but had not been given specific training for dementia patients.
Ms Kostova has not worked at the hospital since she was suspended from her post.
Robert Courteney-Harris, medical director of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This incident was dealt with very swiftly when it happened in 2010."
A report into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, published last week, highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary" suffering of hundreds of patients between 2005 and 2009.
Some were left for hours sitting in their own faeces, food and drink was left out of reach and hygiene was so poor that relatives had to clean toilets themselves.