Sister Sarah Kuteh, a nurse in the U.K with 15 years experience has been sacked by the management of Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent, for “gross misconduct”.
Kuteh was accused of holding “unwanted discussions” which allegedly upset patients and ignoring conduct guidelines on discussing personal beliefs.
The mother-of-three, who is now suing the hospital for unfair dismissal, said she was offering solace to patients she believed were happy to chat about their beliefs, and described her sacking as ‘disproportionate and punitive’, reports DailyMail.
The dismissal comes after the Equality and Human Rights Commission criticised politically correct organisations that restrict freedom of expression. A few weeks ago Theresa May told MPs that Christians should feel able to talk about their faith in the workplace.
“It was embarrassing for me – and painful after all I had done in my years as a nurse. I was told I couldn’t even speak to my colleagues. All I had done was to nurse from my heart. How could it be harmful to tell someone about Jesus?” she told DailyMail.
One patient had complained that she was given a Bible that she didn’t want while another said that Kuteh was ‘preaching’ at her.
Three more complaints were levelled against her in June leading to her suspension before being sacked in August and an appeal being rejected.
Kuteh said that after a warning in April, she became more careful about speaking on her religion, and only speaks to patients who approached her with the subject first.
“We have a duty to our patients that when they are at their most vulnerable they are not exposed to unsolicited beliefs and/or views, religious or otherwise. We feel we have acted appropriately in this case,” the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust said.
Kuteh has taken to YouTube to explain that the discussions only arose as it was her job to help patients fill out pre-op assessment forms, which dealt with their religion.
“My job was to go through questionnaires with patients and an aspect of this is religion.
There is an aspect in each of these questionnaires where I have to deal with religion and a patient would have to state their religion – or not. This would always bring about the most discussions.
I discussed my religion with a patient and how I have found Jesus Christ and how much peace I have. Especially when patients have come to me really really devastated sometimes and I have had to reassure them based on the joy and peace I really have found with the Lord.
I want to challenge the decision as I believe it’s a punitive action, and I’ve had 15 years exemplary nursing. How could telling anyone about Jesus Christ really be harmful to any patient?” she said in the clip.