A pair of nurses unleashed a reign of terror on a local mental health facility, routinely abusing their vulnerable patients and displaying racism against white people. However, their abuse finally came to an end when other staff members intervened.
After a disturbing investigation, a pair of nurses at Ross House in Birmingham were terminated for horrific psychological torture of both their mentally infirmed patients as well as their own colleagues. Both Maisie Gabriel-Allison and Theresa Dcaccia were found to have exploited their positions in the UK care facility as a sort of tyrannical tag team.
Finding care for mentally impaired loved ones is a major decision for millions each year. For many, placing a beloved relative in the hands of complete strangers is a daunting task. Sadly, it’s almost impossible to know just who will be providing basic safe-keeping and supervision once the doors are closed.
The Daily Mail reports that the Nursing and Midwifery Council was notified of the abuse after four female colleagues came forward. The women, whose names have been withheld, told of the pair’s verbal and psychological attacks on both the residents and other staff members.
The first witness, who is a black woman, testified that Gabriel-Allison would become outraged when she would talk to white coworkers and would drag her away from them. She was told “don’t talk to these white people” on the job and was eventually intimidated into silence. She acknowledged that this racist behavior took place during every shift.
“The bullying became too bad and I reduced my hours. I had been psychologically bullied and upset by Maisie,” another witness said.
Another staff member told the board that Gabriel-Allison would regularly verbally abuse the terrified patients. She reportedly mocked one patient so severely over her appearance that the patient “refused to eat.”
She said, “I saw Maisie say to her about what she was wearing, she said ‘look at yourself’ in a nasty way and this made her cry. I regularly saw Maisie order service users around, Gabriel-Allison would use a very loud and intimidating voice.”
Likewise, Dcaccia ruled with intimidation. The witnesses explained that the nurse would refuse to allow patients into certain rooms without clinical justification, including the restroom. Another resident was refused a drink by Dcaccia and attempted to boil tea by herself before the nurse snatched the cup out of her hands and said she wasn’t allowed to have it.
The board ultimately found that the evidence against Maisie Gabriel-Allison and Theresa Dcaccia was more than enough to terminate the pair, according to NMC panel chairman Stephen Barker.
“Ms Dcaccia’s bullying of staff and intimidating manner towards service users was indicative of a particularly serious deep seated attitudinal problem,” Barker said. “The service users were mental health patients and were highly vulnerable people. They should have been assisted in preparing for independent living and benefiting from a therapeutic environment. Instead, Ms Gabriel-Allison made them feel upset and frightened; her comments and behaviour towards individual service users having such an impact that Service User A stopped eating and Service Users D and E used to ask if she was on shift and ‘shake’ with fear if told that she was on duty.”
Additionally, Gabriel-Allison was permanently barred from the nursing profession. The pair were given 28 days to appeal the decision but did not provide sufficient evidence to support such a request.
Placing a loved one in a facility is already terrifying enough without having to worry that those charged with caring for the patients will add to their mental anguish. However, these women not only abused their positions of power over these particularly vulnerable patients but also prevented their own colleagues from helping.
Although these women won’t be allowed around infirmed patients again, losing their jobs simply isn’t enough. They psychologically tortured mentally ill individuals and should be held criminally accountable for their actions.