Elderly patients at a nursing home had their own vomit pressed down their throats and were given hard pinches and slaps.
Two nurses at a home in Norrkoping, in central Sweden, harassed their patients both verbally and physically. The scandal was revealed in March, but the two nurses are already back at work, according to local newspaper Folkbladet.
“This is a trauma for all of our employees,” said Eva Abrahamsson, manager and the recipient of the complaints against the nurses, to Folkbladet.
“We’ve cried, and we’ve all ransacked our consciences. We’re talking about defenseless people, who have to place their trust in us.”
When a patient protested against the nurse’s painfully hard grip, the nurse responded “don’t touch me with your disgusting fingers,” and “you’re lying where you are, and I’d like to see you try to catch up with me,” reports Folkbladet.
On another occasion, the same nurse chose not to clean up a patient’s vomit, instead deciding to press the vomit back into the patient’s mouth, using a bib.
The other nurse slapped a patient hard on the behind, pinched her stomach and shook her breasts, and pressed another patient’s fist into her mouth.
This gruesome maltreatment, taking place over two days in March, was discovered by another employee, who then reported it.
The behaviour of the two nurses was deemed so serious that it resulted in no fewer than five Lex Sarah reports, a law obliging staff in the care industry to report instances of mistreatment to social services.
Despite this, the two nurses are now back at work after a suspension of two months for one nurse, and three weeks for the other.
“The personnel department didn’t think there was sufficient cause to fire them,” said Teresa Påhlsson, district manager of another area in Norrköping municipality, to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).
“The nurses will, of course, be under scrutiny. All of the staff are aware of the situation. That’s the good thing with them being back in the same place,” said Påhlsson to SvD.
All the relatives of the maltreated elderly patients have been informed of what has happened apart from one. The vomiting patient passed away before the investigation was over.
The nurses are now working with the same elderly patients as before the incidents occurred.
Clara Guibourg/The Local