A&E nurse called patient, 99, evil

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A senior nurse who branded a 99-year-old patient ‘evil’ and threatened to spit in his face has been banned from the job for 12 months.

Christina Gavigan, of Seaton Road, Hemel Hempstead, called the pensioner a ‘horrible little man’ during a meltdown at Hemel Hempstead’s accident and emergency department on October 11, 2008. When the patient threatened to spit in her face, the nurse – with 30 years experience – told him she would spit back. She also referred to a woman with learning difficulties as a ‘waste of space’.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council panel found her guilty of verbally and physically abusing patients.

They also ruled she had kicked and yelled at two patients, and had a blazing row with the son of a third patient.

Hearing chair Susan Sauter said: “The incident was isolated in its nature and out of character.

“We have heard many testimonials that show Ms Gavigan is considered to be a good nurse and her clinical abilities are not in question.”

“We are therefore imposing a suspension order for a period of 12 months.”