Details of abuse revealed as healthcare assistant jailed (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Details of verbal and physical abuse come to light as healthcare assistant at Whipps Cross Hospital is jailed
More horrifying details have come to light of the shameful treatment of elderly patients at the hands of a Leytonstone healthcare assistant who was sentenced today.
Akousa Sakyiwaa, 37, of Orange Grove, Leytonstone, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court to 12 months in prison for four counts of ill treatment or neglect of a person without capacity under Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
The court heard details of the abusive treatment suffered by Sakyiwaa’s patients.
When Joan Musset, 87, complained about her treatment to Sakyiwaa, the assistant told the arthritis suffer to “shut up”, before grabbing her lips and twisting them to stop her talking.
She also grabbed Ms Musset’s left breast and said, “Is this what you call a breast?” before laughing at her and saying, “You have no breasts.”
Ms Musset protested that she wanted to see a different health care assistant because Sakyiwaa was 'dread.'
Sakyiwaa hauled a bed sheet over Ms Musset's face like a funeral shroud and said, “See you're the one who is dead.”
Sakyiwaa also slapped Louise Hodges, 92, on the hip and bottom when changing her bed clothes.
Paul Webb, defending Sakyiwaa, said: “These offences were committed completely out of character.
“She appears to be a dedicated, caring and diligent person and we heard as such during the trial.
“She chose to make caring for the elderly her career and that is the job she wanted for the rest of her life.”
Mr Webb listed an over-familiar relationship with patients, long hours, a testing environment and inadequate supervision and training as reasons for her behaviour.
Judge Timothy Lamb QC, when addressing Sakyiwaa, said: “You are of good character and I note that you have expressed remorse.
“It may be that this offending revealed a side of your character that you did not know about.
Judge Lamb also condemned the actions of the three women saying: “In short, by your offending you have let down your colleagues and you have damaged patient trust and undermined the quality of care for the elderly and vulnerable at Whipps Cross hospital.”
In a statement Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We apologise unreservedly to the patients of beech Ward and their families for the indefensible failings in their treatment during their time in our care.
“There can be no place under any circumstances for such behaviour in our Trust or in the wider NHS.
“We took a zero tolerance approach to any form of neglect or ill-treatment of our patients and applaud the student nurses who showed courage and integrity in raising the alarm.
“It is the duty of every member of staff to report such behaviour and we will actively encourage and support this through our whistle-blowing policy which is made clear to all staff on day one of their employment with the Trust, with ongoing reminders to existing staff during regular statutory and mandatory training.
“Moreover we will take action against any member of staff who turns a blind eye or fails to take immediate and appropriate action if they witness any form of abuse or negligence.”