Matshediso Mathuba was struck off the nursing register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in April this year.
It followed allegations dating back to 2014 that she shoved a toothbrush into the mouth of a dementia patient and threatened another that she would “put him on the floor” at Littlestone Hospital Continuing Care Unit in Bow Arrow Lane, Dartford.
Nurse Matshediso Sebotso Mathuba wins compensation for unfair dismissal, but it still suspended from working as a nurse after misconduct at Littlestone Continuing Care Unit, Bow Arrow Lane, Dartford.
When the allegations were filed, the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Partnership Trust (KMPT) sacked Ms Mathuba, who was approaching her 60th birthday.
Having worked for the trust for 11 years, she has now been awarded £24,683.49 for unfair dismissal.
However the NMC decision still stands, and Ms Mathuba cannot work as a nurse until her suspension ends in April 2017.
During a tribunal hearing, Ms Mathuba appealed to be re-instated at the trust but judge Victoria Wallis refused on the grounds that “as a public body [the trust] would not want to be seen to employ an individual who had their licence suspended by their professional body”.
Ms Mathuba – who has always denied the allegations which saw her suspended for gross misconduct – argued the dismissal had left her depressed.
Judge Wallis accepted that it “came as a blow to her and that it took some time to recover and look for work”, but said she did well in managing to secure a position as a nurse in a residential nursing home for the period in between the allegations being filed and the hearing.
After the hearing, she was allowed to stay on with her current employer as a health care assistant, under some supervision.
On December 1, 2014, Ms Mathuba was washing a patient with dementia and bipolar disorder who had smeared faeces over his body.
A nurse who witnessed the incident said during the hearing that the patient refused to brush his teeth and threw the brush into the bath water.
At this point Ms Mathuba was said to have ‘pushed the toothbrush into his mouth and brushed roughly, leaving the patient coughing’.
The next day, she threatened another patient.
The tribunal hearing heard that the NMC would suspend a licence if an individual refused to accept any blame, but this approach did not prove that the claimant was guilty.
A KMPT spokeswoman said: “We fully accept the decision of the employment tribunal.”