Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nightingale Nursing Home fined a total of S$26,000

SINGAPORE: The nursing home accused of mistreating an elderly female resident has been fined a total of S$26,000.

Nightingale Nursing Home was fined S$15,000 for failing to provide optimal quality care to former resident, Mdm Peh Siew Lay.

The highest penalty for failing to provide quality care is a fine of up to S$20,000 and a jail term of up to two years, where applicable.

It was fined S$11,000 for 10 manpower offences.

Nightingale Nursing Home was charged in April this year by the Health Ministry under the Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Act with failing to provide optimal quality care to Mdm Peh.

During sentencing on Tuesday, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said the incident did not last for a long time.

She noted that there were no injuries and described it as a one-off case.

But she pointed out that it was inexcusable and unacceptable to mistreat Mdm Peh, who deserves the full protection of the law.

The judge said even if Mdm Peh was difficult to handle, the nursing home should have assigned trained staff to take care of her.

Nightingale was suspended in April 2011 from admitting new patients after its staff were caught on video mistreating Mdm Peh sometime between November and December 2010.

Their act was secretly filmed by Mdm Peh's son.

The footage was later shown on MediaCorp's news programmes.

In the video, the patient was seen being flung onto a bed and slapped by staff of the nursing home.

Nightingale Nursing Home was also fined S$11,000 for illegal deployment and making false declaration to the Manpower Ministry.

Its director, Tan Choo Waoh, 65, was fined S$12,000.

Earlier this month, Tan was convicted of making Nightingale staff work beyond the stipulated 44 hours a week, as well as not paying them for overtime work.

Apart from Nightingale and Tan, its sister organisation, Greenview Nursing Home, was fined S$6,500 for illegally deploying its foreign workers.

Court documents showed that the two nursing homes illegally deployed nursing aides as cheerleaders at football games, as well as general or administrative staff.

The fourth party in this case, Civic Ambulance Services, was fined S$20,000 for falsely declaring employees' salary.

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