Care home worker wilfully neglected dementia patient who was ‘strapped to bed’


A care home worker wilfully neglected an elderly woman who suffered from advanced dementia – after she was found strapped to the bed.

Nursabah Abdelmalik was employed by Wellcare Nursing Agency when she carried out a shift at Amberley House Nursing Home in Bentilee.

The 31-year-old spent the day working ‘one-to-one’ with a 71-year-old patient.

But at 3pm on Saturday, October 12, 2019, a care support worker entered the room and noticed the defendant quickly pull the duvet to cover the pensioner’s waist.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard this aroused suspicion and it was then discovered the woman was restrained using straps from under the bed which are only supposed to be used during an emergency evacuation.

A housekeeper was alerted who then entered the room and placed the straps under the bed.

The manager was informed and the defendant was asked to make a statement.

Abdelmalik – who has no previous convictions – denied being a care worker who ill-treated or wilfully neglected an individual and had a trial on Monday.

Magistrates found there was a ‘lack of convincing evidence for ill-treatment by restraint’ but concluded there was wilful neglect of the patient.

The care support worker told the court: “I saw one strap. They were in but not completely shut.

“I pulled the strap off and said, ‘We do not restrain here’.

“I was not aware what the straps were for.”

Abdelmalik, of Timmis Street, Etruria, had previously worked several shifts at the care home. She said the patient needed assistance when she walked, went to the toilet and when eating.

The defendant said in the minutes before the care support worker walked in the room the patient was lying in bed and was holding a strap on the right side of the bed. She said there was only one strap and it was not covering the woman as suggested.

Her solicitor, David Houldcroft, said: “The prosecution allegation is that you have forcefully strapped the patient to the bed. Did you do that?

The defendant replied: ‘No’.

Under cross-examination from prosecutor, Mouzam Razaq, Abdelmalik said: “I did not put a strap on the lady.”

Mr Razaq asked: “Was this a case of you getting fed up with the patient and trying to make your life easier?”

Abdelmalik replied: “No, the work is not that difficult. It is easy to work one-to-one.”

Mr Razaq said: “I suggest you pulled the strap across her to restrain her.”

The defendant answered: “Why would I do that? I would not gain anything from it.”

Mr Rozak said: “You ill-treated the patient on October 12, 2019 haven’t you?”

“No I have not,” she replied.

Magistrates found the defendant guilty of wilful neglect.

They ordered an all-options pre-sentence report and Abdelmalik will be sentenced on March 31.



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