A MENTAL health nurse has been struck off after cheating on her boyfriend with a patient.
Aberdeenshire nurse Linda May Thomson, 47, has been barred after drinking cava with the patient, visiting pubs and going to football matches with him.
A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel said the case was an “extremely serious” breach of professional boundaries.
The 47-year-old faced 19 charges of misconduct including having a sexual relationship with “Patient A”, who suffers from manic depression, while working at Royal Cornhill Hospital, Aberdeen.
The charges, which relate to early 2009, say they had a “sexual relationship”, “kissed on one or more occasion” and “engaged in sexual touching on more than one occasion.”
Thomson, who worked in the hospital’s Corgarf ward, was also charged with staying overnight at the man’s house and accepting a key to his flat.
She admitted only one charge, saying their relationship was platonic, but the panel found all allegations against her proved.
The NMC hearing took place behind closed doors but the written decision of the panel has now been made public.
Ms Thomson’s relationship with the man, referred to only as “Patient A”, began after she returned some of his possessions which he had left at the hospital after being discharged on 9 January.
The NMC’s detailed statement said one of Ms Thomson’s colleagues, Dr Pauline Larmour, gave evidence that: “Any unauthorised contact with patients currently under care or patients who have been released from care would be inappropriate in all circumstances”.
Despite this, the nurse accepted a key to his flat and exchanged gifts with him, and as the relationship developed they exchanged gifts.
The NMC statement said: “[Patient A] describes these occasions in graphic detail and was able to relate places, and dates and circumstances and he was consistently able to recount these instances to a variety of people over the period of a year.
“Ms Thomson in her evidence, to [a colleague], when asked if she had kissed or cuddled Patient A, she replied “a wee bit further than that”.
The panel noted that at one point Ms Thomson said “I’m going to be stacking shelves in Tesco” while discussing the patient with a colleague, suggesting she knew she was doing something wrong.
The panel said: “She also was in a relationship and lived with her partner at the relevant time.”
Evidence was taken from a doctor who had known Patient A in a professional capacity for a number of years. He said Patient A’s medical condition did not give him a “propensity to lie or fantasize”.
The same witness also told the panel that Patient A’s account of his sexual relationship with Ms Thomson “has never changed”.
“Patient A’s medical condition means that he is good at recalling times, dates and conversations in great detail,” said witness.
The panel also heard from a Ms Hawcutt that on an evening out around March 2009, when they had both been drinking and were drunk, Ms Thomson had disclosed to her “that she was seeing another man”.
Ms Hawcutt asked Ms Thomson if it was Patient A as “she had an instinctive feeling that it was him”.
She said that Ms Thomson had said to her “How do you know?” or words to that effect.
She then asked if she had had sexual intercourse with Patient A. Ms Thomson did not say anything, but Ms Hawcutt formed the impression from the look she had given her that she had.
The panel concluded that the case was “extremely serious”, adding that the man was a “vulnerable patient who appeared to have low self esteem”.
Ms Thomson said her relationship ended after Patient A assaulted her at a bus stop in April 2009.
The panel said: “This incident led to his arrest and subsequent conviction.
“Ms Thomson reported this incident to the Hospital which led to an investigation and subsequent referral to the NMC.”
Ms Thomson was neither present nor represented at the NMC hearing.
But admitted at an earlier stage in the proceedings that she “wholeheartedly regrets the consequences of her actions”.
Source: “Nurse struck off after cheating on boyfriend with patient,” Neil Pooran, Deadline (blog), August 31, 2012.