Winterbourne View nurse who abused patients is struck off

Undercover footage showed Joanna Garbutt being abusive to a patient at the former residential hospital in Bristol

A learning disabilities nurse who used abusive language, and threatened vulnerable patients at the former Winterbourne View hospital in Bristol has been banned from practising by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. 

Joanna Garbutt admitted four charges relating to her conduct, including that she called a patient who has being restrained ‘a big baba’ and ‘the biggest drama queen going’. Ms Garbutt also said she would let a fox eat the patient’s toes. 

In one incident, Ms Garbutt placed medication in a patient's mouth while the individual was being restrained. She covered the patient's  mouth with a cloth and abused her verbally.  

Ms Garbutt did not attend the NMC hearing in London and was not represented, but she had admitted the charges in an agreement sent to the regulator.

Winterbourne View, a residential hospital in Bristol, was closed down after abuse of patients was exposed by the BBC1’s Panorama programme in 2011. 

The NMC panel determined that Ms Garbutt's behaviour was ‘cruel and unprofessional and breached the fundamental tenets of the nursing profession’. 

The regulator offered no evidence on a fifth charge relating to administration of medication and restraint and the panel accepted there was no case to answer on the charge because it did not add to the seriousness of the case. 

Ms Garbutt has not been charged with any criminal offence. 



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