Nurse Banned For Bullying Patients

A nurse who bullied elderly patients, made mistakes with medication and was regularly rude to staff and visitors has been banned from nursing for a year.

Staff nurse Anita Owen, aged in her 60s, pointedly questioned a visitor's need to give her chronically ill grandmother a drink saying "she is dying anyway''. 

In more than a decade working for Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, her career was marked by a host of complaints. 

Ms Owen resigned from her job at the north Wales health board last summer after an interim investigation into an allegation of patient bullying. 

Her unnamed elderly victim, who had problems swallowing and could only take one tablet at a time, was left tearful by Ms Owen in an incident in July 2011. She was ordered by the staff nurse to drink a full cup of water and take all her medication, which amounted to three tablets, at once. 

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practice hearing found that that allegation and a series of others she faced were proved. 

Panel members went on to make a 12 month suspension order to "mark the seriousness of the misconduct.'' 

Ms Owen will have to demonstrate evidence of real reflection in her behaviour to a future panel if she wants to be reinstated. 

It will meet next year and can impose a further ban if it is unconvinced by her claims and feels she has not kept up with her professional training.