Scottish psych nurse loses license for locking patient in room

January 22, 2013

A nurse at a Tayside psychiatric hospital has been suspended from practising for three months after locking a patient in a room and walking away.

Susan Sutherland trapped the man in a room at Murray Royal Hospital in Perth to "see what he would do".

Ms Sutherland, who was sacked after the incident in December 2010, has always denied the charge against her.

A Nursing and Midwifery panel ruled that Ms Sutherland remains a risk and could put patients at unwarranted harm.

The panel heard from healthcare assistant Gary Boyle, who said he had managed to persuade Patient A into a bathroom in an attempt to bathe him, only for the patient to run out of the room naked.

The patient ran into and lay on the floor of a smoking room on the ward, before Ms Sutherland and Mr Boyle managed to convince the man to return to his room.

But when the patient returned to his room, an irate Ms Sutherland shut the door, locked it and told Mr Boyle she "was locking his door for five minutes to see what he would do before she "stormed off down the corridor away from Patient A's room".

The incident was reported to Margaret Cullen, the nurse in charge at Glenelg Ward and Ms Sutherland was suspended two days later.

Source: "Psychiatric nurse suspended after locking naked patient in room," STV, January 13, 2013.

2013-04-19 08:59:42
I understand that there must be rules in place to protect patients. However, I don't think this nurse should have been fired for this incident. she should have only been reprimanded and re-educated about the rules. I think each case should be judged with a bit of common sence. What would have been a better course of action for the nurse to take? it doesn't sound like she was going to leave him in there more than 5 minutes. Couldn't that be just what that particular patient needed at that time? Our public schools, in America, are similar with the teacher not allowed to give even the slightest hint of discipline to the children. I have 2 children in elementary school right now. Their classmates disrupt lessons constantly and the teacher can't do much to stop it. The other children must suffer the consequences of not being able to hear the teacher due to the uncontrolled students. If the teacher sends the unruly students to the principles office every day she will be judged as not being able to professionally guide or redirect (control) her students.

Post your own comment here:

Your Comment