Sister Sarah Kuteh, a nurse with 15 years’ experience was sacked for discussing Christianity and offering to pray with patients before their operations. Kuteh, who’s a mother-of-three, was dismissed for breaching guidelines, even though her job involved asking people preparing for surgery about their religion.
Recalling how she was suspended and escorted from Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent, Kuteh 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?’
She admitted she may have spoken to a few patients without their express permission when she first began the job, but was more careful after a warning in April 2016 that there had been complaints. In June, She was ‘shocked’ when they told her that 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 rejected.
The bosses at Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust however insist that her discussions were unwanted and this had upset patients. They also claim that Kuteh failed to heed warnings that she was being unprofessional.
She is now suing the hospital for unfair dismissal, describing her sacking as ‘disproportionate and punitive’.