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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Patient abuse - nurse struck off
Steffan Spedding
Spedding shouted "good save" when a football struck a patient

A male nurse who used patients as targets for football practice and injected others with sedative so he could have a quiet shift has been struck off.

Steffan Spedding, 29, from north Cornelly, near Bridgend, south Wales, put vulnerable patients through "prolonged, systematic and distressing" abuse, a professional disciplinary hearing was told.

The hearing of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Cardiff, heard that the shift supervisor had served 15 months in jail for his abuse of patients at two nursing homes.

It heard how Spedding ran "a reign of systematic abuse" over four months at the South Mead Nursing Home in South Cornelly and the Blackmill Nursing Home in Bridgend.

Described as "arrogant, cocky and lazy", he was accused of lining up vulnerable patients to kick balls at them, shouting out "good save" when one of the patients was struck.

On other occasions he gave patients heavy doses of medication so he could sleep during his night shift.

Most of the patients at the homes where he worked suffered from Alzheimer's and Downs Syndrome and were aged between 50 and 90.

He and a care assistant put patients through "prolonged, systematic and distressing" physical and verbal abuse, the hearing heard.

Laughing

Spedding was also seen to throw a 75-year-old man across a room, choke him and then walk away laughing.

A South Wales Police inquiry carried out over an 18-month period found that a total of 16 patients had suffered abuse.

On another occasion, he also left an elderly woman exposed to the elements by leaving her naked near open windows and doors.

Graham Miles for the nursing council said: "He used another woman as a target, throwing a football at her head and laughing."

Committee chairman Pat Dwan said: "He failed to safeguard his patients and failed to serve the interests of society.

"This is a very serious case of misconduct and removal is the only realistic course for the protection of the public."

He was banned by the council from working as a nurse anywhere in Britain.




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