'Deplorable' nurse slapped wheelchair-bound resident at St Leonards care home

Paul Teglas was working at Lauriston Care Home in St Leonards. Picture: Google Streetview
Paul Teglas was working at Lauriston Care Home in St Leonards. Picture: Google Streetview

A nurse slapped a wheelchair-bound dementia patient at a St Leonards care home in a ‘deplorable’ abuse of position.

Paul Teglas struck the vulnerable man while he was employed as an agency worker at Lauriston Care Home in the town.

Teglas – who was had already been reprimanded for turning up drunk for work at another nursing home – was found guilty of misconduct at a fitness to practise hearing last week.

He will now be struck off the nursing register, pending any appeal.

Teglas was meant to be giving the resident one on one support

The committee made its decision following hearings between April 30 and May 3 this year. The full report can be read on the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s website.

According to the report, the charges arose while Teglas (NMC PIN 15A0466C) was employed as a registered nurse by Methodist Homes at the care home.

The report said: “It is alleged that, on November 5, 2017, Mr Teglas assaulted a resident at the Home by slapping him across the thigh. This assault was witnessed by a healthcare assistant.

“The resident is a dementia sufferer and was confined to a wheelchair at the material time.

“Mr Teglas was employed specifically to assist with the one-to-one care of this resident.

Asked to leave the home immediately

“It is said that at the time of the incident, the resident was at a high risk of falling, was not always able to stand independently and required one-to-one support and observation at all times.

“Mr Teglas was asked to leave the home immediately after the incident and did so willingly and an internal investigation commenced.”

The resident did not suffer any significant injuries as a result of Teglas’ actions, the panel heard.

Teglas claimed that the resident had struck him first, according to the report.

‘Deplorable’ actions

The allegation that Teglas slapped the resident across the leg was found proved.

“The panel noted that there has been a serious departure from the standards expected of a registered nurse, and that a fellow nurse would find Mr Teglas’ actions to be ‘deplorable’.

“The panel was of the view that Mr Teglas’ actions fell seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse and do amount to misconduct.”

Teglas to be struck off the nursing register

When considering what punishment to impose, the panel also considered that at the time of his offence Teglas was already subject to an interim suspension order.

This had been imposed after he attended work under the influence of alcohol.

“The panel determined that Mr Teglas’ misconduct is so serious that it would not be appropriate to allow him to remain on the register.

“The panel noted that Mr Teglas has demonstrated a lack of insight into the seriousness of the impact that his actions have on the reputation of the profession.”

Teglas has 28 days to appeal, after which he will be struck off.