Byline: MICHEAL BROWN
A NEWCASTLE nurse laced a patient's breakfast with drugs and left an elderly woman "yelping" in pain, medical chiefs have been told.
John Wharton lifted the lady's legs in the air, bent them back towards her chest and then tore a sheet from her grasp while changing her incontinence pad, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
The nurse, who was working at St Nicholas Hospital in Gosforth, allegedly also poured a mixture of crushed up tablets and syrup onto another patient's cereal without telling him what he was doing.
The case is just the latest controversy to hit the hospital after 'Black Dog Strangler' Phillip Westwater escaped its wards and went on the run for 12 hours a fortnight ago.
If found guilty, Wharton - who is not attending the hearing in central London - could be kicked out of the profession.
Student Joe Parish, who shadowed the nurse in May 2010 while he worked in the hospital's Silverdale Unit, told the panel that Wharton asked him to help change the incontinence pad of an elderly woman, known only as Patient A, who was able to do very little for herself and relied on staff.
"I introduced myself to Patient A and began to explain what John and I were going to do,' said Joe.
"Before I finished, John removed the patient's sheet blanket she had between her knees. There was no communication or explanation.
"The patient resisted and John yanked the blanket from her grasp. She appeared to be distressed and was crying out. …