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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Former Barrow hospital nurse: I had no idea I was causing distress

A FORMER Furness General Hospital theatre nurse accused of bullying, intimidated staff by the way he looked and his brusque manner, a hearing was told.

Gary Spencely

Yesterday a friend and former colleague of ex-Raider’s rugby player Gary Spencely described him as a “brilliant and dedicated” nurse but admitted he could be short-tempered.

The 47-year-old has denied making a phone call where he called a female colleague stupid or grabbing her wrist and shouting at her. He also said he had not told her to “bring it on” when she told him she was complaining about his behaviour or told her he hoped her life was a misery and that he enjoyed bullying her.

The panel sitting at the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard on Thursday that Spencely did admit saying to the woman – known throughout as Colleague A – that she looked dirty, as if she would be into bondage, and that he didn’t like her but would sleep with her if she was “going short”.

He also admitted he had said her request for time off for a honeymoon was low priority as it would never happen.

Giving evidence yesterday, he said his comments had been meant in a light-hearted way and had not meant them to be taken personally. He added that he was the father of an 18-year-old boy and sometimes said things to him he didn’t mean and didn’t carry any weight.

Spencely, who played rugby for Barrow RLFC and Barrow Island before retiring from the sport in 1999, said he had not disliked Colleague A on a personal level. But he admitted he had made it known to colleagues at FGH that he was against her promotion as he did not think she was suitably qualified.

When asked by NMC barrister Robert Clark why the witness had “visibly reacted” when some of the things he was charged with were mentioned, Spencely replied: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I take full responsibility for my actions.

“I should have been more observant and I wish I had more insight into my actions. I had no idea my actions were causing distress to Colleague A.

“We don’t have to like everyone we work with but you have to have a working relationship. Everyone knew I didn’t agree with her promotion.”

He admitted touching her hand was a step too far but had denied grabbing it and shouting at her for not taking off nail varnish when he had asked her to do so earlier in the day.

Colleague A, who worked with Spencely at FGH, claimed he put her through four years of hell and made her life a misery.

She said his behaviour, between 2007 and 2011, caused her relationship to break down and resulted in her going into counselling and being put on anti-depressants.

Giving evidence by telephone Spencely’s friend and former colleague Tracey Lilley admitted he could be short-tem-pered.

She said she had witnessed the incident where he touched Colleague A’s hand and he had lifted it gently and told her firmly to remove her nail varnish.

Ms Lilley also said the complainant had come into a theatre and lifted her top and pulled down her pants slightly to show a large tattoo she had had done of a sexy, busty scrub nurse. That had raised eyebrows, she added.

She described Spencely as an “amazing and dedicated” nurse but admitted she was aware his manner intimidated some people. She said that was down to the way he looked and a brusque manner.

Ms Lilley said: “He is such a dedicated man and an asset to any team because he is totally professional and patient care is at the top of his priority.

“I think that all this is very unfortunate and very sad. It’s sad Colleague A feels the way she does and it’s come to this.”

The hearing has been adjourned until May 7, 8 and 9.

Have your say

I worked at the hospital I left in 2001 and worked with this man who verbally threatened me more than once, as I had reported him to my senior for his behaviour in theatre. Bullying is a terrible thing to have happen and he deserves to be struck off.

Posted by stewart on 8 May 2014 at 20:46

Unfortunately bullying, intimidation and harassment are rife within this Trust. It is little wonder that staff are leaving at an alarming rate.

Posted by simples on 24 February 2014 at 21:20

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