21 Jul 2014

Nurse breached patient's rights

4:23 pm on 21 July 2014

A psychiatric nurse who punched a female patient who attacked her has been found to have breached the patient's rights.

A report by the Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner says the nurse did not provide services of reasonable care and skill during the incident in 2012.

The patient was receiving psychiatric treatment for mood swings, psychosis and aggressive behaviour.

The report said the woman began swearing, at which point the female nurse asked her to calm down in her room. She returned asking for a hot drink, before punching the nurse in the head several times.

The report says the nurse then hit her in the upper body at least twice.

Deputy Commissioner Theo Baker says attacking a patient cannot be condoned.

Ms Baker noted the nurse's inexperience. She said the nurse is no longer practising and must apologise to the patient.