Nurse struck off for sexually abusive comments to colleague

Mental health nurse Michael Turner also locked his colleague in a room and gave her medication without a valid prescription, fitness to practise panel found

Mental health nurse Michael Turner also locked his colleague in a room and gave her medication without a valid prescription, fitness to practise panel found

A photo of a brass plaque saying NMC Nursing and Midwifery Council
Picture: Barney Newman

A mental health nurse has been struck off after he made explicit sexual remarks to a colleague and locked her in a room with him.

Michael Turner, who worked at Mersey Care Foundation Trust (MCFT), was found to have made explicit comments to a colleague in 2018, including a statement about her physical appearance making her sexually attractive to black men.

Struck off after NMC found comments were sexually abusive

He also described to her his enjoyment of bondage and ‘tying people up for sex’ and made lewd suggestions about her breasts, a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise (FtP) hearing was told.

The panel heard Mr Turner had also given his colleague medication without a valid prescription. He did not take her medical history before administering the medication, which he took from stocks on the ward where the pair worked, the FtP report stated. He was also found to have locked his colleague in a room with him.

The FtP panel found his comments to be sexually abusive, but said locking his colleague in a room with him was not.

Nurse ‘used male dominance to harass female colleagues’

The FtP report said Mr Turner ‘continued to deny some of the charges’ and submitted a ‘reflective account’ via email, which addressed the allegations generally but did not address his specific behaviour.

The NMC said Mr Turner ‘used his male dominance to harass female members of staff’ and that his reflective piece did not ‘demonstrate any insight in relation to concerns relating to his sexual misconduct’.

‘Mr Turner has not… acknowledged his misconduct or addressed how he would handle a similar situation differently in the future,' it said.

Mr Turner had initially been suspended for 12 months in September 2021, then a further three months in September 2022 and again in December 2022. He will be officially struck off on 18 April when his current suspension order expires.

NMC encourages nurses to report colleagues if they witness concerning behaviour

NMC executive director of professional regulation Lesley Maslen encouraged any healthcare staff or patients who witness concerning behaviour to report it.

‘There is absolutely no place for any type of sexual misconduct or harassment in society or within health and social care and we take allegations of this nature very seriously,’ she said.

‘Our Code sets out the standards of behaviour that the public has a right to expect from every nurse, midwife and nursing associate on our register. In line with these principles, any professional who witnesses concerning behaviour from a colleague shouldn’t hesitate in speaking up to managers and leaders.’

A spokesman for MCFT said: ‘We welcome the outcome of an NMC hearing into the conduct of a former staff member at the trust.’

If you witness sexual harassment or any other concerning behaviour at work, you can notify the NMC here.

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