Yet another UK psych nurse is struck off for sex with a patient

A mental health nurse who started a sexual relationship with a patient in her care before bombarding him with texts when he broke it off has been struck off.

Deborah Boulton was said to have met a male patient and given him her mobile number, texted him messages saying ‘I miss you’ and ‘I love you’.

The band 6 nurse’s actions fell ‘seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse’, a tribunal ruled, saying her ability to practice is impaired by reason of her misconduct.

She was said to have met the man, known as Patient A, at the Sutherland Centre, for people with poor mental health, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, in early 2009.
Relationship: A tribunal heard Deborah Boulton had sex with one of her patients five times after meeting him at the Sutherland Centre in Stoke-on-Trent

Relationship: A tribunal heard Deborah Boulton had sex with one of her patients five times after meeting him at the Sutherland Centre in Stoke-on-Trent

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told Boulton gave the patient, who had previously been treated in hospital for an alleged overdose of diazepam and alcohol issues, her mobile number and texted him, telling him ‘I miss you’ and ‘I love you’.

During their relationship the pair had sex around five times: once in a hotel, once in his mother’s house and approximately three times in Boulton’s house.

The patient claimed when he tried to finish the relationship Boulton bombarded him with calls and texts until he destroyed his mobile phone to avoid contact from her.

The panel heard Boulton went on to take sick leave leading to her case load being re-allocated, which eventually resulted in claims of their relationship emerging.

The allegations came to light when Patient A attended a counselling session in August, where he suggested to a counsellor that he had suffered a relapse because of the relationship, the hearing was told.

Boulton was not present and not represented at the hearing in central London last week, but had denied the allegations.

The NMC Competence and Conduct Committee panel struck Boulton off, finding she breached professional boundaries by giving Patient A her phone number and instructing him to call her, and also found she had failed to maintain accurate records and failed to create a care plan for him.

The panel accepted evidence given by Patient A that Boulton left voicemail messages on his phone saying words to the effect of: ‘If you do not come and see me now then you will never see me again’, and ‘I will end the relationship and you will be alone because you will never see me again’.

It also found proved allegations that the Boulton took the patient to Frankie and Benny’s in Newtown, Stoke-on-Trent, between May and June 2009, and to dinner with a friend in May 2009, and also that she bought him alcohol on two occasions.

‘By placing her own needs above the needs of Patient A, Ms Boulton breached the fundamental tenets of the profession.’

The panel also found proved claims that the couple had sex on around May 12, 2009, in Patient A’s bedroom at his mother’s house in Longton; and that they stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Stoke-on-Trent near Britannia Stadium, where they also slept together.

It was also found proven that during May and/or June 2009, the pair had sex approximately three times at Boulton’s home.

Deciding whether the facts proved amounted to misconduct, the panel ruled Boulton’s actions fell ‘seriously short of the conduct and standards expected of a nurse and amounts to misconduct’.

Striking her off, it said her failings were ‘significant departures’ from the standards expected.

‘By placing her own needs above the needs of Patient A, Ms Boulton breached the fundamental tenets of the profession and the panel is of the view that to allow her to continue practising would fail to protect the public, and undermine public confidence in the profession and in the NMC as a regulatory body.’

An 18-month Interim Suspension Order was also put in place to allow for the possibility of an appeal. If Boulton does not appeal within 28 days, then the order will be replaced by the striking-off order.

Source: “Mental health nurse who had sex with patient then bombarded him with texts when he ended relationship is struck off,” Daily Mail Reporter, September 18, 2012.

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