Chadwell Heath care home nurse ignores 400 calls for help of dementia sufferer

Gable Court Nursing Home, Roxy Avenue, Chadwell Heath

Gable Court Nursing Home, Roxy Avenue, Chadwell Heath - Credit: Google Street View

A care home nurse, who ignored 400 calls for help of a “very vulnerable” resident lying in pain overnight, has been suspended for six months.

Gugulethu Gumbi was accused of not adequately responding to a bed-bound elderly dementia sufferer, when she called for her hundreds of times at the Gable Court Nursing Home, Roxy Avenue, Chadwell Heath.

Gumbi, a nurse for 15 years, was recorded telling the resident, who has not been named: “Will you stop making noise, for people are sleeping” and “the legs, there is nothing wrong with the legs – will you stop making noise”.

“Can you give it to me, you are making noise for other people, you don’t respect other people but you want to be respected,” she was heard saying on the tape recorded on the night of February 24, 2014.

The family of the resident, who has since died, had placed a covert recording device inside the bedroom and recorded the conversation with the nurse between around midnight and 8.30am the next day.

Another member of staff at the home described the resident in need of “full nursing care” and “very vulnerable”.

While the distress resident begged for help, the nurse was even heard replying: “Don’t even bother.”

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Gumbi spent most of her time during her shift in the staff room, which was close to the resident’s room, the panel heard.

The panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) told the nurse they were concerned that she “showed a lack of compassion and understanding of the resident’s distress” despite this being an isolated incident and there was no evidence of “general incompetence”.

She was suspended for six months by the NMC on September 9.

The manager of the home, run by health group Bupa, told the panel if a resident called for attention she would expect staff to respond within five minutes and was aware that the resident often called staff, when she needed her leg to be moved to alleviate pain.

Gumbi told the panel she only heard the resident calling three times, which the NMC did not find credible.

The family’s concerns were raised to the deputy manager at the home before an investigation was launched by the Bupa group.