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News – Answered prayer for Christian nurse

March 2009

Answered prayer for Christian nurse


Caroline Petrie, the nurse suspended without pay for asking a patient if she would like to be prayed for, has been reinstated by North Somerset Primary Care Trust. The Trust accepted that Mrs Petrie, from Weston-super-Mare, had been acting in the ‘best interests of her patients’.

     In December, Mrs Petrie, a born-again Christian and mother of two, asked a patient if she would like Mrs Petrie to pray for her. When her employers heard of this, they told Mrs Petrie that she could face disciplinary action. She was suspended from her role as a community nurse.

     Mrs Petrie attended a disciplinary hearing on the basis that she had failed to demonstrate a ‘personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity’ by offering to pray for the patient, although the patient had said she was not offended. Following a review of the case, the Trust also stated that nurses did not have to ‘set aside their faith’ in the workplace. It added that carers could ‘continue to offer high quality care for patients while remaining committed to their beliefs’. Mrs Petrie is expected to return to work soon.

     Leading religious liberties barrister Paul Diamond advised Mrs Petrie. The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) supported her. Andrea Williams, CLC director, said: ‘This is a great victory for Mrs Petrie and for common sense’.

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