Leeds mental health trust says jailed nurse's sexual activity with patient was 'isolated incident'

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said the nurse was immediately suspended. Picture: PA Wire
Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said the nurse was immediately suspended. Picture: PA Wire

A Leeds mental health trust said it immediately suspended a nurse when a patient made a complaint to police.

Luke Smith was working for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust when he engaged in sexual activity with a male patient in January 2017.

He was jailed today for eight months after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual activity with the patient.

Read more: Leeds mental health nurse jailed for sexual activity with patient

Speaking after the sentencing, interim director of nursing, quality and professions Paul Lumsdon said: “We put patient safety at the heart of everything we do and we are sorry for the distress caused by the actions of this individual."

He said Smith was suspended from duty as soon as the Trust became aware of the serious allegations made about him.

"There was a disciplinary hearing into what had happened and as a result, the Trust dismissed the individual for gross misconduct," Mr Lumsdon said.

Read more: Nurse dismissed by Leeds health trust remains under police investigation

The police later charged Smith, who made his first appearance in court on February 2.

Mr Lumsdon said: “This was a very serious, but rare and isolated, incident.

"We do everything we can to safeguard the people in our care and have clear pre-employment vetting procedures.

"We also have a Whistleblowing policy and a Speak Up policy for staff and services users who want to report malpractice or wrongdoing.”

Read more: Victim of Leeds nurse feared mental health stigma would stop police believing him

The Nursing and Midwifery Council also made Smith the subject of an 18-month interim suspension order when the allegation came to light.

A full fitness to practice hearing will now be scheduled.

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