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NURSE'S CAREER IN RUINS; Man struck off over relationship with patient.

Byline: JOHN SIDDLE @jsiddle

A NURSE who had a relationship with a suicidal patient was kicked out of the profession.

Jeffrey McHugh claimed he was popping into see his brother-inlaw when he was caught visiting the patient at her home.

A tribunal heard how his relationship with "Service User X" developed after she was admitted to an acute mental health unit in Southport, in November, 2011.

After her case was transferred from the town's Hesketh Centre, McHugh continued to visit the unidentified mum at home and bought her presents.

When quizzed by a colleague about the relationship, he denied it and said he parked outside her house because his nearby brother-in-law had "too many cars".

McHugh, who worked for Mersey Care NHS Trust as a crisis resolution practitioner, was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to "protect the public".

Panel chair Michael Cann said: "Mr McHugh's misconduct cannot be termed a single incident.

"Along with his dishonesty, he maintained an inappropriate relationship with Service User X for a period of some five months after that relationship was subject to investigation.

"He has displayed no evidence of remorse or insight into what are serious charges concerning a highly vulnerable patient."

The tribunal heard how Service User X was referred to Mersey Care in October, 2011.

McHugh was the first practitioner to meet and assess her, but when her care was transferred in January, 2012, he should have ceased contact with his patient.

But until July he visited her address on "several occasions."

McHugh was suspended from duty following the complaint but continued to see Service User X. The tribunal, at which McHugh did not appear, ruled he had been dishonest and "provided false information [...] to cover up his misconduct."

Mr Cann said: "As his misconduct includes not only dishonesty, but also the serious matter of a breach of professional boundaries, the panel was of the view that Mr McHugh's conduct was fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the nursing register."
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 22, 2014
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