Wrexham nurse accused of manhandling patient

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A NURSE accused of manhandling and over-dosing a dementia sufferer at Wrexham Maelor Hospital will face a disciplinary hearing later this year.

A High Court judge heard Mark Bentum was alleged to have grabbed the vulnerable patient under the arms and pushed him back onto a bed, despite his pleas to stop.

Barrister Alex Mills said Mr Bentum was claimed to have told the patient “come on and pack it in” before holding him down on the bed with one hand and forcibly removing his trousers with the other.

In another alleged incident, Mr Bentum was said to have forced medication into the same patient’s mouth when there was no clinical need for it.

Mr Mills said it was claimed the dose he gave the patient was higher than had been formally prescribed by a doctor.

The incidents are said to have occurred in 2007 and, after an internal investigation by the hospital trust, Mr Bentum, now living at Tonworth Crescent, Putney, West London, was suspended from practising by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in December 2009.

Mr Justice Sales, sitting at London’s High Court, extended that suspension for a further eight months after hearing Mr Bentum’s case was due to be heard by the NMC in early December.

The court was told nothing had been proved against Mr Bentum, but Mr Mills told the judge the allegations were “exceptionally serious” and, if true, “crossed the boundary into abuse”.

He said the suspension should be extended to protect the public.

Explaining delays in dealing with Mr Bentum’s case, the barrister said the matter had been under “constant investigation” by the NMC since it was reported to the organisation in 2009.

Mr Bentum had, the court heard, complained that his prolonged suspension from the profession was putting him under “extreme financial hardship”.

Mr Justice Sales said that given the length of time during which the allegations have been hanging over Mr Bentum the eight-month extension was “not granted lightly by the court”.

Urging the NMC to keep to the timetable and deal with Mr Bentum’s case before the end of the year, he said: “Any further application for an extension is unlikely to be favourably received.”

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