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'Fondled' mental health nurse to keep career
5:00pm Friday 29th June 2012 in Ribble Valley news
A ROOKIE nurse who let a patient touch her bottom will be allowed to continue working.
Ann Gallagher, 24, struck up an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with the man, giving him her personal mobile number, sending him text messages, and taking phone calls from him twice a week.
The man, referred to as patient A, showed her topless photos he had taken of himself.
A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing ruled she ‘should have known better’, even though she had qualified as a nurse less than a year previously.
Pamela Ormerod, chairing the hearing, said: “Your failure to record and report the information could have put yourself and others, including members of the public, at risk.
“To avoid misunderstandings, nurses should employ and know sufficient safeguards, and you failed to follow that guidance.'
Gallagher admitted giving the patient a hug goodbye once, but claimed this did not amount to misconduct.
But Ms Ormerod said: “You should have realised it was not appropriate to have such physical contact with him. Your actions could have been misinterpreted.”
The panel ordered Gallagher to be under supervision for the next year to ensure her work is up to scratch.
Gallagher broke the rules in August and September 2009 while working as a staff nurse for Kemple View Psychiatric Services, in Langho.
She was posted to a secure hospital looking after patients who had been detained under the Mental Health Act, including patient A.
The case came to light when patient A boasted to another nurse that he was in a relation-ship with Gallagher and had touched her bottom.
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