A Christian nurse with 15 years of experience was fired from her job for telling patients about Jesus Christ and offering to pray with them before their operations.
Sister Sarah Kuteh, a mother of three, was dismissed from Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent for breaching the guidelines, MailOnline reported. Officials at Dartford and Gravesham NHS said that the patients were offended with the "unwanted discussions," and Kuteh had not heeded the warnings that she was being unprofessional.
Part of Kuteh's job involved helping patients complete a form which included a question on religion. She admitted that she might have discussed religion with a few patients without their express permission when she was new to the job.
She became more careful after she received a warning in April that there had been a few complaints and that she was breaching conduct guidelines about discussing personal beliefs.
Kuteh said that conversations sometimes started when patients have not put anything on the box marked religion. She might ask them why, and she would even tell them about how she was able to overcome adversity because of her faith.
She said that she has no intention of imposing her beliefs on others, and she noted that it was often the patients who initiate conversations about faith.
In June, she was "shocked" to find out that three more complaints were made against her. She was told to stop assessing the patients, and she was suspended a few days later. She was fired from her job in August following an investigation.
"It was embarrassing for me â€“ 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?" said Kuteh.
She was told during the investigation that one patient complained that Kuteh gave her a Bible that she did not want and said that Kuteh would pray for her. Another reportedly disclosed that she felt uncomfortable that the nurse was "preaching" to her.
Kuteh is taking the NHS trust to an employment tribunal with the help of the Christian Legal Centre. She claimed that the disciplinary process she went through was flawed because the complaints were not initially shown to her.
The NHS trust issued a statement saying: "We have a duty to our patients to ensure that when they are at their most vulnerable, they are not exposed to the unsolicited beliefs and/or views of others, religious or otherwise."
"Following several complaints from patients and a warning which did not result in any change in behaviour, we feel we have acted appropriately in the management of this case," the trust added, according to The Mirror.