Nurse suspended after affair with patient at Rampton Hospital

A nurse who was caught having an affair with a dangerous patient at a maximum security hospital after she posted pictures on Facebook has been suspended.

By Court Reporter
Tuesday, 26th February 2013, 2:32 pm
Guardian News
Guardian News

Jane Steele began the relationship when she was working at Rampton Hospital.

Steele also wrote inappropriate messages on the social networking site referring to her boss as a ‘numpty’ and used offensive words to descirbe a former patient.

She claimed nothing happened while he was detained at Rampton but says she is now going to marry the prisoner, who is currently serving a life sentence.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council decided her behaviour amounted to misconduct and that she was not fit to work as a nurse without restrictions.

Panel chair Martyn Griffiths said: “The panel has found that you initiated and engaged in an inappropriate relationship with Patient A who was a vulnerable patient while you were employed at Rampton Hospital.”

“The panel considers that your decision to engage in this relationship displays a significant lack of understanding of professional boundaries.”

“Whilst the panel acknowledges that an enduring relationship has developed, the panel is not satisfied that you have sufficient insight into this plainly inappropriate conduct as a matter of principle.”

The panel heard that the relationship between Steele and the prisoner took place between December 2002 and September 2010.

At the time he was a serving a life sentence and was detained at Rampton Hospital in Retford, for treatment between 5th December 2002 and 1st September 2006.

He was later sent to HMP Gartree in Leicestershire to complete his sentence.

The relationship came to light when comments on Steele’s Facebook page were first seen in September 2010.

Mr Griffiths said: ‘You told the panel that when you returned from a period of leave and discovered that Patient A had been transferred from Rampton Hospital, you were ‘disappointed’.”

“Patient A gave up on the treatment and that he was sent back to prison. You told the panel that between Patient A leaving Rampton Hospital in September 2006 and before you sent him a Christmas card in December 2008, you missed Patient A and knew it would be unethical to contact him.”

“You told the panel that ‘if I could have met my partner in any other venue I would have done so’ and that you have been with Patient A in a ‘permanent and ongoing relationship’ for approximately four years.”

Other comments on her Facebook page were offensive to colleagues, including one where she wrote she would ‘rip’ a colleague’s head off.

The nurse also spoke inappropriately to a former patient on the telephone at Bassetlaw Hospital.

The nurse was suspended by the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust in September 2010 and she resigned the following month.

Steele, who did not attend the central London hearing, was suspended from working as a nurse for 12 months and an 18 month interim suspension order was granted to cover any appeal period.