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Friday, 31 October 2014

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South Cumbria nurse had sex with patient

A DRUG and alcohol nurse has been banned from the profession after having sex with a patient.

Alan Wilkinson, a nurse with the Drug and Alcohol Team for South Cumbria, appeared before a Nursing and Midwifery Council disciplinary panel after embarking on an eight-month affair with a patient and failing to inform his manager of the inappropriate sexual relationship.

Though the relationship was consensual the woman had both mental health and substance abuse issues.

The panel heard Wilkinson had also stepped outside professional boundaries between January 2008 and November 2010 having attended the wedding of a patient and given his work mobile phone number to the woman’s father.

Wilkinson, who worked across South Cumbria, including Barrow, since 2008 admitted the offences.

The affair began after Wilkinson, a keen musician, started chatting to the patient about a love of pop music.

An investigation began after a patient made allegations Wilkinson had behaved inappropriately and after an interview Wilkinson admitted the inappropriate sexual relationship.

Wilkinson told the panel: “It was a big mistake. I know it was wrong. I was very good at my job for 20 years, but this has ruined my life.

He admitted the charges, but said: “I only have a problem with the wording, because it says an inappropriate sexual relationship.

“I accept the relationship was inappropriate, but I don't want it to sound like we had inappropriate sex.

“I could have sat here and said I didn't have sex with that woman, and said she made it all up but I chose not to.

“I told the truth, but the sex thing is being held against me.”

Jacqueline Mitton, chairwoman of the Nursing and Midwifery Council panel, said:

“Although he has expressed remorse and regret the panel was not satisfied that he has the knowledge and understanding to handle similar situations should they arise in the future.

“He showed little insight into the imbalance of power that exists in the relationship between a nurse and his patient.

“His actions were an abuse of his position as a nurse.”

An interim suspension order for 18 months has been made and Wilkinson is due to be struck off the Nursing and Midwifery register.

A statement from the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “Mr Wilkinson resigned from the trust. The trust entirely supports the findings of the disciplinary body. Mr Wilkinson is no longer employed by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation trust.”

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