A paramedic who slapped and abused an aged care resident with dementia will not get his job back with the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) after his employment was terminated.
Former skilled paramedic, Jonathan Charles Loveridge, took the ambulance service to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) with claims he was unfairly dismissed from his job in November 2020.
On June 11, 2020, Mr Loveridge and a graduate paramedic attended a call out to Opal Varsity Rise aged care facility in Varsity Lakes to help a resident who had open wounds on her arms and was acting violently.
Court documents stated the facility’s General Manager witnessed Mr Loveridge grab the woman “by the face and slapped her” while attempting to get her into the ambulance.
The manager also said she was chastised by Mr Loveridge for wasting hospital resources because the older woman should have been managed within the facility.
Opal Varsity Rise filed a police report but they decided not to pursue the case after contacting Mr Loveridge who denied the allegations.
QAS did start an investigation into the incident, who were also told both paramedics didn’t do anything wrong. Later on in the investigation, the graduate paramedic revealed she had lied, confirming she witnessed the slap and regretted keeping this information hidden.
“The patient’s face appeared surprised. I could tell that ACP Loveridge immediately regretted his actions, and at hospital after we handed over the patient when we were about to leave he stated that he regretted his actions that night and no more was mentioned of the incident,” she said in the investigation.
Mr Loveridge had been employed with the QAS since 2007 and worked at the Burleigh Heads station when he was fired following a disciplinary process. When he took his claims to the QIRC, he said he wanted his old job back, or if that was not possible, compensation.
Last month, QIRC Deputy President Catherine Hartigan was confident Mr Loveridge had slapped the woman and deemed his dismissal and the process surrounding fair.