Nurse at ‘lamentable’ care home lifted resident by wrist and neck, court hears

Alexandra House Nursing and Residential Care Home was closed in August 2018 after a "damning" CQC re

Alexandra House Nursing and Residential Care Home was closed in August 2018 after a "damning" CQC report. Picture: Jacob Massey - Credit: Archant

A nurse working in a Norfolk care home in conditions described as “lamentable” lifted a resident with Down’s Syndrome up by the wrist and neck but should not be made a scapegoat, a court has heard.

Helena McClurg, 64, was working at Alexandra House in Great Yarmouth at the time of the incident.

The home was closed last year after a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) had rated it “inadequate” in all categories and identified “widespread failings which put people at the potential risk of harm”.

The defendant, who lives on The Street in Runham, appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court on Friday (February 1), where she admitted to assaulting Karin Seeley, 53, on April 12 last year.

Mark Jackson, prosecuting, said that Ms Seeley, who had Down’s Syndrome, had moved to the home in July 2017.

He said that her niece, Kirsty Laming, was visiting the home on April 12 when Ms Seeley lay down on the floor and did not want to get up.

She was upset and crying, the court heard, and Ms McClurg lifted her up by her wrist.

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The court heard that Ms Seeley lay down again before the nurse first tried to coax her up but then held her “by the scruff of the neck and pulled her forward to sit her up”.

The evidence was that Ms McClurg had used “a lot of force”.

The nurse then stood up and said she had to take care of the medication rounds, the court heard.

Mr Jackson said it was an “unbelievable, lamentable state of affairs” at the home, but that he was not suggesting Ms McClurg was responsible for that.

The solicitor said the defendant was “not somebody who has to be scapegoated for everything that went on” and that she was a “lady of previously good character”.

Chris Bentley, mitigating, agreed with the chairman of the magistrates, Stan Chapman, that there was an “institutional problem” at the home.

He added that his client had been in “a stressful situation, not being given guidance or training”.

The court took into account the mitigating factors.

Ms McClurg was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £20.