Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Ward matron struck off for inappropriate behaviour

10:00 11 January 2013

Keith Mitchell

Keith Mitchell

A WARD matron at Ipswich Hospital has been struck off for five years after he made sexually suggestive comments to four colleagues and behaved inappropriately towards patients.

shares

Experienced nurse Keith Mitchell had overall responsibility for Haughley Ward between January 2009 and January 2011 when the incidents took place.

Haughley Ward provides care for older people with complex needs, including patients suffering with dementia.

A Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Conduct & Competence Committee hearing held before Christmas was told that Mr Mitchell faced charges relating to his ward leadership and management, his conduct towards staff and his conduct to patients.

After hearing evidence, it was found that he had not held regular staff meetings, given colleague adequate training or appraisals and had not carried out audits and, in one case, an induction.

Colleagues had also said he had made sexually suggestive comments, sent text messages and asked one member of staff about her personal life – claims that were found proved by the panel, which accepted that his behaviour was “sexually motivated”.

He was also found to have made derogatory comments about patients and handled them roughly. He was cleared of one of two charges of failing to provide an adequate induction and was found not to have inappropriately made friends with colleagues on Facebook.

The panel concluded that Mr Mitchell’s conduct towards patients and staff “fell far below the standards expected of a registered nurse” and that his fitness to practise had been impaired.

“The panel found that Mr Mitchell conducted himself inappropriately towards patients in that he made derogatory comments about them and handled them roughly,” members said. “Registered nurses should always treat patients with respect and dignity. Mr Mitchell’s conduct is not acceptable under any circumstances.

“The panel also concluded that Mr Mitchell made sexually suggestive comments in relation to Colleagues, A, B, C and D, asked Colleague C questions about her personal life and sent text messages to Colleague B in relation to personal matters. The panel concluded that his conduct was sexually motivated.

“Mr Mitchell was the line manager of the ward and in a position of power and trust. He abused his position of trust and made his staff feel uncomfortable within the workplace. Further, the panel has found that Mr Mitchell failed to provide appropriate ward leadership and management.”

In concluding that only a striking-off order was appropriate, the panel added: “The panel notes that Mr Mitchell has an otherwise unblemished 22-year career as a nurse. However, the panel has no evidence to suggest that Mr Mitchell has taken steps to re-mediate his conduct, and the panel previously concluded that he had not shown any insight or remorse.

“As a result the panel has concluded that there is a real risk of repetition. Further, whilst there is no evidence of actual harm caused to patients in this case, the panel notes that there was a real potential for harm to patients and that Mr Mitchell caused his colleagues to feel uncomfortable within the workplace with his sexually motivated conduct.”

Mr Mitchell’s representative wrote to the NMC explaining that he did not intend to submit a “substantive response” to the committee or engage with the process, but that he “deeply regrets” his actions and believes that his behaviour came about as a result of his mental wellbeing at the time.”

A hospital spokesman said: “A disciplinary hearing was held in May 2011 and the nurse was dismissed, and we referred the nurse to the Nursing & Midwifery Council which has led to this outcome. This is in line with our policies.”

shares

1 comment

A collision on East Mersea Road between a bus and a low-loader lorry which was carrying a steam engine.  Photo: Su Anderson

A bus driver who was critically injured in a crash involving a lorry carrying a 15 tonne steam engine told emergency teams to leave him and help his passengers instead.

An East of England Ambulance Trust ambulance. Photograph Simon Parker

Figures have revealed the region’s ambulance service is continuing to fall short when responding to the most serious emergencies.

The accident happened on the A12 at Chelmsford

All lanes have now reopened on the A12 at Chelmsford following an accident in which a man died this morning.

A few views of the river Stour at Flatford

From gusty wind and grey skies, to calm waters and a sneaky peak at the winter sun - this week has been a changeable one weatherwise.

Izzy, 13 years old, Black, Domestic Shorthaired, Neutered Female.

Meet Izzy, a 13-year-old, black, domestic short-haired, neutered female.

The junior doctors strike at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.

Junior doctors in Suffolk say they enjoyed “fantastic support” from the public as they came out on strike for the second time this year.

Crowds enjoying Gig in the Garden 2015

A three-day festival for charity is returning to Suffolk this summer.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24