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Nurse receives six-month suspension for sexually harassing student

Nurse says there was ‘banter’ with male student he was mentoring but NMC panel finds his ‘deplorable’ behaviour amounted to serious misconduct
Picture of Raigmore Hospital in Inverness

Nurse says there was ‘banter’ with male student he was mentoring but NMC panel finds his ‘deplorable’ behaviour amounted to serious misconduct

A nurse has been suspended for six months after a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise panel found he sexually harassed a nursing student who later went on to leave his training.

Scott Macpherson will remain on the register after admitting making comments to the young male student about oral sex, explaining that ‘banter’ was commonplace between the two of them but he would not do it again.

The student was completing

Nurse says there was ‘banter’ with male student he was mentoring but NMC panel finds his ‘deplorable’ behaviour amounted to serious misconduct

Picture of Raigmore Hospital in Inverness
Raigmore Hospital Picture: Andrew Smith

A nurse has been suspended for six months after a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise panel found he sexually harassed a nursing student who later went on to leave his training.

Scott Macpherson will remain on the register after admitting making comments to the young male student about oral sex, explaining that ‘banter’ was commonplace between the two of them but he would not do it again.

The student was completing a placement at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness in May 2018. Mr Macpherson was acting as his mentor in the hospital’s Highland Children’s Unit when the alleged incidents occurred.

The panel heard how during a conversation Mr Macpherson had suggested that the student perform a sex act on him, and later referred to the comment several times through innuendo. It left the student feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable and he phoned in sick the next day to avoid facing his colleague again, the panel heard.

After seeking advice from his family and a student representative, the young nurse returned to his placement. Upon returning he complained he had a sore neck, and Mr Macpherson reportedly offered him a massage saying he was good at them ‘as it’s all about the fingers’. When the student declined, he added: ‘I don’t bite, unless they want me to.’

Nurse’s actions created an ‘intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’

The student said in evidence: ‘I took this to be a further sexually suggestive comment, and was totally speechless that it had happened again and so openly. I just stared at my water bottle and wished that I could run out or disappear.’

The panel found that Mr Macpherson’s actions were ‘serious’ and ‘deplorable’ and had violated the student’s dignity. They had the effect of creating an ‘intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’ for the young nurse.

It also found that as a mentor ‘with a considerable age gap’ he should have provided the student, who was in a vulnerable position, with nurturing and guidance in the workplace.

‘The panel was of the view that the conduct found proved was so deplorable and so significant a departure from professional standards that it amounted to nothing short of serious misconduct,’ the NMC said.

The panel had seriously considered a striking off order but felt assured that Mr Macpherson had cooperated and expressed remorse. He has 28 days to appeal against his suspension.


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