Sarah Kuteh, a nursing sister with 15 years of experience, who was sacked after offering to pray for her patients has claimed she was unfairly dismissed. She was dismissed last August for gross misconduct after people she had treated complained about her religious “fervour”. .
She appealed but the panel agreed that the decision to dismiss Mrs Kuteh was “entirely appropriate”. Giving evidence at the tribunal, Mrs Kuteh denied forcing her religion on patients. She said:
“I’m serious about my religion but I don’t think I imposed my religion on patients.
I love nursing, I love what I do and I love talking to patients. What I wanted the trust to have done was to give me the opportunity to show a change.”
NHS worker Sarah Collins, who chaired Mrs Kuteh’s first disciplinary hearing at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, disagreed.
In a statement she said:
“Despite having been warned against such behaviour on two occasions, she persisted with questioning patients on religious grounds. Mrs Kuteh’s assertion that she felt compelled to continue to hold religious discussions with patients concerned me.”
A total of eight complaints were made by “extremely vulnerable” patients facing surgery. One patient claimed she spent more time talking about religion than completing a pre-operative questionnaire. Tribunal chair Martin Kurrein reserved his judgment to a later date.