Doncaster hospital ward manager struck off for 'simulating' sexual acts and bullying staff

A Doncaster hospital ward manager has been struck off for bullying staff and 'simulating' crude sexual acts.

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 2:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th January 2018, 10:20 am
Montagu Hospital in Mexborough

Stuart Andrew, a ward manager at Mexborough's Montagu Hospital, pulled the hair of two health care assistants from behind and simulated sex on two separate occasions.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council Fitness to Practise Committee hearing found him guilty of a string of foul and abusive language which also included crude sexual comments aimed at two members of staff.

The disgraced charge nurse also called one of the health car assistants, known as HCA 2, 'Baldrick' from TV show Blackadder and said: "You’re so f****** stupid, you couldn’t read a bus timetable."

The health care assistant said that Andrew’s behaviour got worse as time went on and that she soon began to feel 'intimidated and bullied by him'.

The NMC found Andrew 'abused his position of authority and trust' and his behaviour was 'sexually motivated and inappropriate' while the 'bullying conduct was repeated over many years and caused upset and distress'.The panel added his misconduct 'occurred within a clinical setting' and some of his derogatory comments to staff were 'overheard by patients'.

In a statement, the woman, known only as HCA 1, said: "In around September 2015 there was an incident where I bent over to look for files in the metal drawers. The registrant came up behind me and pulled my hair with such force that I had to grab the drawers in order to balance myself; he then started making sexual movements as if we were having sex.”

In her NMC witness statement, HCA 2 said If she ever bent down to pick anything up, Andrew would 'make gestures' imitating a oral sex and 'make incredibly crude comments'.

"Throughout the six years I worked with the registrant he was always sexually inappropriate. I cannot recall specific dates because it happened often, on a weekly basis."He would also come up behind me and pull my hair and pretend to dry hump me from behind," she said.

"He would often make sexually explicit comments whilst doing this; however it happened so often that I am unable to recall them all."

Andrew joined Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2002 and rose through the ranks to become a charge nurse and ward manager.

The hearing heard Trust bosses became aware of Andrew's behaviour in the Autumn of 2015 after it was alleged the two health care assistants were subjected to bullying and sexual harassment.

This prompted an investigation during which a number of members of nursing and care staff, including Mr Andrew were interviewed by Doncaster NHS bosses.

Trust bosses launched an enquiry and Andrew was sacked following the completion of the investigation.

Andrew didn't admit any of the charges but NMC panel members found the two complainants were 'credible and reliable witnesses'.

The NMC panel ruled: The panel heard evidence from HCA 1 and HCA 2 who both describes feeling upset intimidated, humiliated and belittled by Mr Andrew.

"The panel was in no doubt that Mr Andrew abused his position as a Band 7 Nurse and Ward Manager and that his conduct was inappropriate and bullying."

Andrew was not present at the hearing.

Karen Barnard, director of people and organisational development at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: "We can confirm that Mr Andrew has been dismissed for reasons of gross misconduct and was referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council."As an organisation, we expect members of the team to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and integrity, being responsible and accountable for actions and taking pride in the work of the health service.“We are committed to ensuring that members of staff are listened to and appropriate actions are taken as necessary.“To aid in this work, in October 2016 we introduced the Freedom to Speak Up Guardians. Made up of the Trust’s public and staff Governors as well as a doctor, these champions work alongside the organisation’s leadership in order to ensure members of the team feel comfortable to raise any concerns or worries they may have.”