A British nurse who was fired for talking to patients about her Christian faith has now been allowed to return to work.
Christian Concern, which backed Sarah Kuteh, the nurse, revealed that the judgment, only recently made public, was delivered on July 26 by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
The ruling decided that Kuteh is “fit to practice” and that “it is in the public interest to return an otherwise experienced and competent nurse into practice.”
Kuteh was fired back in June 2016 by the National Health Service following complaints by some patients that she had attempted to impose her religion on them.
The nurse explained that all she was doing was referring to how her faith in Jesus Christ helped her overcome adversity.
“I would … reassure them, based on the joy and peace that I really have found in Jesus,” Kuteh said at the time.
Now, the nurse says that she’s overjoyed that she’s been allowed to return to work and do what she loves.
“I didn’t expect to be sacked so I was shocked. This means so much to me because I can go back to the profession I love,” she told BBC South East on Wednesday.
Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust claimed that the case was never about religion and that the mother of three was initially dismissed for “gross misconduct.”
“Having made Sarah aware of several complaints from patients and asking her to refrain from preaching to them, her behavior continued unchanged. This resulted in formal warnings that ended in her dismissal,” the Trust argued, as reported by The Times.
“We took no satisfaction in having dismissed Sarah but must always act in the best interests of our patients and in accordance with professional codes of conduct.”
At the NMC hearing last month, Kuteh’s supervisor praised her as “a kind, caring, honest, friendly nurse” and “a valuable member of the team.”
On her part, the nurse admitted that giving her personal Bible to a patient was “going too far” and “crossing professional boundaries.” She said that what she should have done is use a Bible from the hospital chaplaincy instead.
“We are delighted that Sarah Kuteh is once again able to practice nursing without restrictions,” said Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre.
“Those who know Sarah recognize what a caring, hard-working nurse she is, and the professionalism she brings to her job. Although it’s disappointing that she was ever penalized for her actions — which were wholly motivated by compassion — we rejoice that Sarah is once again free to bring her skill and expertise to her role as a nurse,” Williams added.
Kuteh, who has 15 years’ nursing experience, and in her job would see around 30 to 40 patients a week, spoke of her gratitude.
“This is a brilliant outcome. To the Christian Legal Center team, Christian Concern and all my supporters, I just want to say thank you so much — a very heartfelt thanks — from myself, and from the rest of my family,” she said.
“Had it not been for your support, quite frankly I would have been lost. But I want to thank you all. You are doing a brilliant job, and I pray that the Lord will reward you all for the wonderful job that you are doing, and for believing in me.”