Category Archives: psychiatric hospital or facility

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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Psych nurse admits sexual assault; patient wants judgment against mental hospital

A McArthur woman who is suing a former nurse/supervisor at a local mental hospital has asked a judge to grant her partial summary judgment in the case.

The woman, who has asked for damages of more than $2 million, claimed in her suit, filed last December, that Ryan E. Blaine, a former employee of the Appalachian Behavioral Health Center, had inappropriate sexual contact with her in January and February 2011 when she was a patient there.

After the Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated the woman’s allegations, Blaine pleaded guilty to attempted patient abuse, a fifth-degree felony. He was ordered to relinquish his nursing certificate, and placed on three years’ probation.

In addition to Blaine, the lawsuit named five “John Doe” defendants who were working for the Ohio Department of Mental Health, alleging that when the plaintiff complained about Blaine’s actions, the other employees “drugged (her) and subjected her to isolation, telling her that she fabricated the… events of which she complained.”

In asking Athens County Common Pleas Judge Michael Ward to grant partial summary judgment, the woman’s attorneys, Richard V. Zurz and Martin S. Delahunty, cite a number of facts they say are not in dispute, because Blaine has failed to respond to a set of questions filed by the plaintiff, asking for admissions of fact.

These include the fact that Blaine has admitted he was a supervisor at ABH when the woman was there; that he had access to her medical chart; that she was a patient under his care; that he engaged in improper sexual conduct with her; and that he pled guilty to a felony charge stemming from this conduct.

“The foregoing admitted facts constitute violations of Ohio law and constitute an assault and abuse of a patient under Ohio law,” the motion alleges.

The plaintiff has alleged among other claims that Blaine committed assault and patient abuse, and that he violated her constitutional right to be “secure in her person.” Each claim, her attorneys maintain, is supported by the undisputed facts they have cited.

“The defendant’s admissions in conjunction with the laws of the state of Ohio clearly provide that the plaintiff has proven the elements necessary to allow summary judgment” on the first six claims in her lawsuit, the motion argues.

Therefore, Zurz and Delahunty have asked Ward to rule in their client’s favor, and to schedule a hearing on how much she deserves in damages.

When The Athens NEWS sought comment in December 2011 on the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the ODMH said she could not comment on pending litigation involving one of the agency’s facilities. The lawsuit does not name ODMH itself as a defendant.

Source: “Woman wants judgment in mental hospital lawsuit,” The Athens News, July 18, 2012.