A nurse with 15 years’ experience has been sacked after discussing Christianity and offering to pray with patients before operations.
The mother-of-three, Sister Sarah Kuteh, who was dismissed for breaching guidelines, even though her job involved asking people preparing for surgery about their religion, is now suing the hospital for unfair dismissal..
Mrs Kuteh, a committed Christian who started nursing in London before moving to Dartford in 2007, became a sister in 2012 while working in the intensive care department. She started a new role in November 2015, assessing patients’ health before they underwent surgery. Part of her job was helping them complete a questionnaire, which included a question on religion, revealed she was offering solace to patients she believed were happy to chat about their beliefs, and described her sacking as ‘disproportionate and punitive’.
The row comes after Theresa May told MPs that Christians should feel able to speak about their faith at work.
Mrs Kuteh broke down in tears as she recalled being suspended and escorted from Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent.
‘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 was sacked in August after an investigation, and her appeal was rejected.
During the investigation the nurse was told one patient had complained she had given her a Bible she did not want and had said she would pray for her. Another allegedly said she had felt uncomfortable that Mrs Kuteh was ‘preaching’ at her.