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Sarah Kuteh: Darent Valley nurse sacked for talking about Christianity and Jesus not unfairly dismissed

A nurse sacked for talking to patients about her religion was not unfairly dismissed, an employment tribunal has ruled. 

Sarah Kuteh had eight complaints made about her by patients when she worked at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford. 

Seriously ill patients told hospital bosses they felt "awkward", "shaken up" and "preached to" when the nurse discussed Christianity with them.

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Sarah Kuteh recording a YouTube video explaining why she was dismissed for telling patients about her Christian faith
Sarah Kuteh recording a YouTube video explaining why she was dismissed for telling patients about her Christian faith

One claimed Mrs Kuteh, 48, had implied that the only way to be cured from illness was to believe in God while another likened his encounter with her to a Monty Python skit. 

She is also said to have sung Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd, to another patient, encouraging him to join in. 

The nurse, who started working for the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust in 2007, was given a warning in April last year then dismissed in August following disciplinary hearings. 

In December she presented a claim to an employment tribunal claiming she had been unfairly dismissed and a hearing took place in Ashford last month. 

But the tribunal ruled in favour of the trust, stating Mrs Kuteh had not been unfairly dismissed. 

Mrs Kuteh was promoted to sister in 2012 but, in November 2015, she was disciplined for a medication error, given a final formal warning for a period of 24 months and transferred to work in a pre-assessment role. 

Sarah Kuteh arrives at the employment tribunal. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Sarah Kuteh arrives at the employment tribunal. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

This involved her assessing patients who were due to undergo surgery, helping them answer a number of personal questions including whether they had particular religious or cultural needs. 

The nurse had previously taken to YouTube to defend herself. 

Following the decision, a trust spokesman said: "Having heard and taken into consideration the cases for both parties, the independent employment tribunal has announced that it finds that the trust’s dismissal of Sarah Kuteh was fair. 

"This case was never about religion. It related to professional nursing responsibilities, behaviour and conduct in a public facing role and position of trust. 

"We take no satisfaction in having dismissed her but must always act in the best interests of our patients and in accordance with professional codes of conduct."

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