By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 30 August 2013 Updated: 30/08 10:25
A NURSE has admitted slapping a patient’s buttocks while they were under anaesthetic.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council heard last Friday (August 23) Mark Dawson, who was working at the Alexandra Hospital at the time, had ‘failed to protect the dignity’ of the person.
Some time between September and November 2010, he admitted he ‘lightly slapped’ a patient’s buttocks when transferring him from an operating table to a recovery trolley and while walking with him in a corridor.
At the time, Mr Dawson - who had worked for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust since 1978 - was responsible for anaesthetics and patient recovery. The incident resulted in him being dismissed by the Trust in September 2011 for gross misconduct and he has since been undertaking voluntary work with a view to returning to the nursing profession in the future.
A report published by the NMC following the hearing said he had shown ‘insight and reflections into his actions, stating that he would now approach patient contact with more caution and consideration’.
It added: “He also states that he is now acutely aware of the importance of professional boundaries and ensuring patient safety and dignity at all times.
“The panel concluded, from all the material provided to it, that it is highly unlikely that you will repeat your inappropriate behaviour, and did not deem it necessary to restrict your clinical practice.”
The panel handed out a year-long caution order, which means any employer or prospective employer will be on notice his fitness to practise had found to be impaired. Four other charges against him were not upheld.
Bev Edgar, the Trust’s director of human resources, said: “Where the behaviour of any member of our staff falls short of our high standards and expectations we will take appropriate action to ensure that this behaviour does not continue. Our whistleblowing policy is in place to ensure our staff can raise any concerns they may have about standards of care without fear of repercussions.
“It is, thankfully rare, cases like this that prove why such a policy is so important and we hope this case demonstrates our commitment to ensuring patients within our care are treated with dignity and respect at all times.”
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