Bromsgrove Mental health nurse admits to sexual relationship with patient

A Worcestershire nurse faces being struck off after having sex with a mental health patient in her care.

Wendy McClure was assigned to the patient when she started a forbidden sexual relationship, a disciplinary hearing was told.

The 43-year-old, from Blackwell, Bromsgrove, admitted a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) misconduct charge of having a sexual relationship with a patient between July and September 2009.

McClure was working for Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust as a gateway mental health worker when she started an affair with a man referred to her for depression.

 

It was when the liaison turned sour that McClure phoned up her boss Catherine Glenholmes to confess the affair, a NMC panel heard.

“McClure told Ms Glenholmes that she had tried to end the relationship, but the patient would not leave her alone,” a NMC spokesman said.

“She also stated the patient had threatened to tell the Trust about the relationship.

“Ms Glenholmes asked the registrant if she had had sexual intercourse with the patient and she confirmed that she had.

“The registrant’s behaviour was clearly a serious breach of her professional duty to establish and actively maintain clear sexual boundaries at all times with people in her care.”

McClure’s role involved assessing mental health patients in the community and referring them on to counselling if necessary.

An investigation by the Mental Health Trust resulted in McClure being sacked for gross misconduct in February 2010.

But following an appeal, she was reinstated, given a final written warning and allowed a non-medical job that did not involve contact with patients.

Trust bosses were now considering offering her a phased return to medical nursing work under supervision, the NMC was told.

McClure, who did not attend the hearing, wrote in a statement that her judgement had been clouded as she was under stress.

She added that it would never happen again. She wrote that she felt “immense shame” and had learnt a “great lesson”.

The NMC spokesman added: “The panel has no doubt the registrant’s misconduct in this case amounted to a breach of a fundamental tenet of the nursing profession.

“The panel is not satisfied that McClure has demonstrated full insight into the seriousness of her misconduct and, in particular, the extent of the damage which her sexual relationship is likely to have inflicted on the vulnerable patient concerned.

“The revelation of her relationship to her employers was only made several weeks after she had received advice from colleagues, in whom she had confided, that her relationship was unprofessional, and only after the patient threatened that he would report her to the Trust.”

The NMC panel ruled McClure’s fitness to practise was impaired and decided to adjourn sentencing until a future date.

The available penalties range from being banned from working to a suspension or written warning.

 

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