Jailed health staff 'damaged trust'
Three healthcare assistants who abused elderly women on the geriatric ward of an under-fire hospital have "damaged patient trust" by their actions, a judge has said.
Akousa Sakyiwaa, 38, was found guilty of four counts of ill-treatment and neglect of patients on Beech Ward at Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London, between February and April last year.
Sharmila Gunda, 36, was convicted of one count of neglect and one count of assault by beating an elderly patient in her care following a trial in June.
Sakyiwaa, of Leytonstone, was jailed for 12 months and Gunda, of Ilford, given a five-month prison sentence at London's Snaresbrook Crown Court today.
Fellow healthcare assistant Annette Jackson, 33, of Hounslow, west London, was given a two-month suspended sentence and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work after being convicted of one count of ill-treatment or neglect.
Sentencing the women, Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "In short, by your offending you have let down your colleagues, you have damaged patient trust and you have undermined the quality of care for the elderly and vulnerable at Whipps Cross."
The judge labelled Gunda "spiteful" before telling Sakyiwaa: "Maybe this offending showed a side of your character that you and other people didn't know about."
Sakyiwaa was found guilty of four counts of neglect against three patients, including holding a bed sheet over 87-year-old Joan Massett's head and telling her she was dead, the court heard.
Jackson was found guilty of one count of neglecting patient Barbara Jones, while Gunda was found guilty of one charge of neglect and one charge of assault by beating Ms Evans. The trio were charged following a Metropolitan Police inquiry into the hospital after a student nurse acted as a whistleblower.
Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has apologised to patients and stressed it had a "zero-tolerance approach" to any form of neglect or ill-treatment.