Improper behaviour sees nurse struck off

A nurse who launched a sexual relationship with a vulnerable mental health patient has been struck off by a watchdog.

Friday, 25th August 2017, 11:30 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:05 pm

Paul Davies, who worked for Five Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust, was given a police caution for being a care worker engaging in sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder.

And the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has now ruled that his conduct, while working for a community mental health team covering Wigan, is not conducive to him remaining in the profession.

Lara Akande, for the NMC, said the organisation received a referral from the interim nursing director at Five Boroughs in March 2016, regarding Mr Davies, who had worked for the trust since December 2011, latterly as a nurse practitioner for the “north recovery team”.

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He had told management that he had embarked on a relationship with a woman, named only as Patient A, who was under his care, a conduct and competence panel sitting in London heard.

She suffered from a personality disorder and was classified as a vulnerable adult, having been known to mental health services for a number of years, said Ms Akande.

While she was well-educated and had worked in responsible jobs, her mental health needs were considered to be complex and she could become unstable during periods of stress or crisis, the panel was told.

Davies was her care co-ordinator and was responsible for the effective management and co-ordination of her care, which included “visiting her regularly, checking on her well-being, escorting her to meetings and appointments and providing support to her in the community,” said Ms Akande.

But in October 2015, Davies begun a sexual relationship with Patient A, where they wold meet around two to three times a week, during his working hours. He informed his bosses of the affair the following March.

Bosses at Five Boroughs suspended Davies, pending an investigation, and he was later given a police caution. The relationship is said to have ended in May last year.

Ms Akande said Davies had attempted to divert some of the blame for the relationship onto Patient A, demonstrating a lack of insight into his conduct.

Ruling his fitness to practice was impaired, NMC panel chairman Catherine Elliott said: “Mr Davies breached his professional boundary as a care co-ordinator for Patient A and had placed her at unwarranted risk of harm.”

Davies was struck off the register and an interim 18-month suspension was imposed, pending any possible appeal.