Nurses suspended after maltreating elderly

Nurses suspended after maltreating elderly
Events at a scandal-struck nursing home in Norrköping, in central Sweden, are now under investigation, both by the police and Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

The nursing home made the papers following reports on Wednesday that two assistant nurses were back at work despite the personnel department’s knowledge of their blatant maltreatment of patients.

One patient had her vomit shoved back down her throat, other patients were slapped and pinched. Another woman, 100 years old, was subjected to her own fist being shoved in her mouth.

This event, which occurred in March of 2011, is now being reported to the police by the woman’s family.

“Last Tuesday Granny turned 101. The whole family was gathered to celebrate her birthday, and when my mother’s husband leaned towards her, she said ‘don’t hit me, don’t hit me’. That makes you wonder what kind of treatment she’s been subjected to,” said the woman’s grandchild to regional newspaper Folkbladet.

The Board of Health and Welfare opened an investigation into the nursing home on Friday.

“We want to know how they are ensuring correct care, upon the return of these people,” said Britt-Marie Persson, deputy manager of the south-eastern supervision division, to TT.

The authority cannot, however, take any action directly against the two employees pointed out as responsible for the maltreatment, because they are neither certified medical personnel, nor do they perform the type of duties that certified personnel do.

The two assistant nurses were originally suspended for a period of three weeks and two months respectively, and then returned to their former positions at the home.

Now they have once again been suspended from their jobs, according to a report from Sveriges Television (SVT).

“We made a new evaluation of the case this morning and decided that they shouldn’t be working,” Lars Karlsson, chairman of Norrköping’s personnel division, told TT.

The nurses haven’t been fired, but are simply to remain at home until further notice, according to Karlsson.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen afterwards. We’ve said that this is how it’s going to be until after the holidays, and then we’ll see.”

Karlsson cites the many complaints received from concerned relatives as the main reason behind their changed decision about the two nurses.

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