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Yarmouth care home manager struck off

PUBLISHED: 12:14 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:55 30 June 2010

A CARE home manager who shut elderly residents in a tiny room to get them “out of her face” has been kicked out of the profession.

Deborah Fouche, 38, threatened to make life “hell” for colleagues if they dared to question her actions at the Eversley nursing home in North Denes Road, Great Yarmouth.

A CARE home manager who shut elderly residents in a tiny room to get them “out of her face” has been kicked out of the profession.

Deborah Fouche, 38, threatened to make life “hell” for colleagues if they dared to question her actions at the Eversley nursing home in North Denes Road, Great Yarmouth.

And Fouche ordered frail pensioners into a “very small” room with no windows if she felt they were being disruptive, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard on Wednesday.

One woman became so distressed she had an epileptic fit when she was left unattended.

Fouche shouted and ranted at residents if they failed to follow her instructions and she also refused to provide a female resident with a newspaper in her room and ordered staff to serve another resident a hot evening meal despite knowing her preference was for cold food.

Tracey Sylvester, a care assistant at the home, said staff dared not question Fouche's actions as they feared she would “make their life a living hell”.

Ms Sylvester told the hearing: “If you questioned anything she did she would try and turn other members of staff against you and the home had already become quite an unpleasant place to work.

“She would shout and bawl at the residents. If they didn't come to the table to eat their dinner or they didn't like what was on offer she would say they can go without.'

Ms Sylvester told the panel Fouche would also order residents be shut in the home's family room when they were being disruptive.

“I saw residents being put in the family room several times,” she said. “It was very small and there were with no windows in it, just two fire doors. Debbie said it was to give them time out, so they could calm down. But it had the opposite effect.'

She said Fouche would be quite nasty to one man and would send him to the family room to “get him out of her face.”

The panel heard a wheelchair-bound woman almost slid out of her chair after being left in there unattended.

And another woman was sobbing so much after she was put in the room for being noisy it caused her to have an epileptic fit.

Ms Sylvester said Fouche failed to arrange chiropody and hairdressing for residents, which was supposed to be complimentary.

She also took a freezer from the home when her own broke down and helped herself to food and cleaning products from the stock cupboard whenever she needed anything when she worked there between 2003 and 2006.

NMC chair Gill Barker said Fouche had breached public trust by failing to look after residents with respect and dignity.

“Over a period of considerable time and in respect of a number of residents Ms Fouche treated people in her care in a cold, indifferent and sometimes cruel manner,” she said. “On occasion she put residents at risk by putting them in a windowless room which they were physically unable to leave.

“Her misconduct put vulnerable patients at risk of serious harm and we consider there is a continuing risk to patients in her care.

“The panel take the view that public confidence in the nursing profession would be undermined if she were not struck off.'

Fouche was further charged with dishonestly falsifying residents' expenses, taking money out of a resident's account and liquidising residents' food and force-feeding them when they would not eat, but she was cleared of these due to insufficient evidence.

The nurse, of Hemel Hempstead, did not attend the central London hearing and was not represented.

A spokesman for the home said: “She left us in 2006 and we don't have any comment to make.”

ends


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