Christian nurse suspended over patient prayer offer is reinstated

A Christian nurse suspended amid a storm of controversy for offering to pray for the recovery of a patient has been reinstated.

North Somerset NHS Trust suspended nurse Caroline Petrie for failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity after she offered to pray for the recovery of an elderly patient.

The community nurse from Weston-super-Mare was suspended without pay in December after asking an elderly woman during a home visit whether she wanted her to say a prayer for her.

The patient told another nurse, who informed the health trust.

The trust said Petrie had breached her professional code by “promoting causes that are not related to health”, and by failing to “demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity”.

The row over Petrie’s treatment reached the House of Commons, with MPs claiming that the case highlighted the “utter absurdities” of political correctness.

After overwhelming public support for Petrie, the trust asked her to come back to work “as soon as she feels able”.

It added: “It is acceptable to offer spiritual support as part of care when the patient asks for it. But for nurses, whose principal role is giving nursing care, the initiative lies with the patient, and not the nurse.”

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