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Student nurse whistle-blower praised by Judge in Whipps Cross case
A student nurse has been praised by the Judge who sentenced three healthcare workers today on counts of ill-treating and neglecting elderly patients at Whipps Cross Hospital.
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.
Sharmilla Gunda, 36, of Horns Road, Ilford, was sentenced to 5 months in prison for one count of ill treatment or neglect of a person without capacity contrary and one count of common assault.
Annette Jackson, 33, of Simpson Road, Hounslow, was sentenced to 2 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours unpaid work for one count of ill treatment or neglect of a person without capacity.
The three women were all found guilty at a hearing on Friday June 21.
Student-nurse, Lucy Brown, reported their abusive behaviour to senior hospital staff after completing a placement on the hospital's Beech Ward for vulnerable elderly patients.
Judge Timothy Lamb QC, said: “The evidence came in large part from student nurses and that took courage to stand up and give the evidence.
“Had it not been for them these offences may not have been revealed.”
A police investigation found evidence that Sakyiwaa had held a bed sheet over 87-year-old Joan Musset's head and told her she was dead.
She also pushed elderly Elizabeth Toussant, shoving her down into a chair when she refused to be washed and slapped Louise Hodges, 92, when changing her bed clothes.
A statement from Barts Health also praised the bravery of the student-nurse whistle-blower saying: “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.”