A NURSE who sent sexually explicit text messages to a “vulnerable” patient who he met in a Leeds hospital has been struck off the medical register.
Peter Jackson was given a Striking-Off Order for misconduct after a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel found that he abused his position of trust while working at St James’ Hospital in Leeds.
The panel was told that Mr Jackson was suspended after he exchanged phone numbers, revealed sexual details about his marriage and sent explicit texts to a vulnerable patient who had a history of anorexia, domestic abuse and alcoholism, in 2013.
The NMC’s judgement, from the hearing on September 25 in London, said: “The panel determined that Mr Jackson’s actions were a serious abuse of his position of trust and he had failed to maintain professional boundaries.”
Mr Jackson sent the patient a number of sexually-motivated and explicit text messages after she was discharged in October 2013 from St James’ Lincoln Wing, where he was working as a nurse on a mixed-sex ward, the panel heard.
The patient then reported him to her GP one week after she left the hospital and said she had received explicit texts from Mr Jackson, a nurse of six years.
He was suspended by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs St James’ hospital, the following month in November after a meeting where he admitted allegations of inappropriately obtaining the patient’s phone number and sending the messages.
The NMC judgement said: “The panel noted that Mr Jackson accepted that the text messages were sexually motivated and the panel noted that Patient A was a vulnerable patient.
“The panel accepts the admission that in doing so he brought the nursing profession into disrepute and had breached fundamental tenets of the profession.”
The panel was told that, during the meeting with the trust in November 2013, Mr Jackson said he had been “flattered” by the patient’s attention but “could not believe he had been so stupid”. He also said he felt the allegations were “six of one and half a dozen of another”.
At a further investigation meeting with the trust in December 2013, he admitted to having conversations with the patient about personal and sexual matters relating to his marriage and the patient’s relationship.
During that meeting he described the exchange of phone numbers with the patient as “his heart ruling his head” and said the messages were “consensually sexual”, the panel heard.
The judgement said: “The panel considered that Mr Jackson’s repeated sexual misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with registration as a registered nurse.
“The panel concluded that with regard to public protection and public interest, a strike-off would be the necessary and proportionate response in this case.”
Mr Jackson was not present at the hearing or represented in his absence.
The panel was told that he had reached an agreement with the NMC before the hearing, where he admitted to the facts of the charges and accepted his fitness to practice was impaired by his misconduct.