A nurse with 15 years’ experience has been sacked in the UK after discussing Christianity and offering to pray with patients before operations.
Sister Sarah Kuteh was dismissed for breaching guidelines, even though her job involved asking people preparing for surgery about their religion.
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’.
Mrs Kuteh broke down in tears as she recalled being suspended and escorted from Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent. DailyMail reports she said:
‘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?’
But bosses at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust said her ‘unwanted discussions’ had upset patients and she had also failed to heed warnings that she was being unprofessional.
One patient had complained that Sister Kuteh had given her a Bible she did not want and had said she would pray for her. Another allegedly said she had felt uncomfortable that Mrs Kuteh was ‘preaching’ at her.
In June, Mrs Kuteh was ‘shocked’ to be told three further complaints had been made, after which she was told to stop assessing patients and was suspended a few days later.
She was sacked in August after an investigation, and her appeal was rejected.