Mental health nurse struck off after having sex with patient in his home

·3-min read
A medical professional holding the hand of a patient
A medical professional holding the hand of a patient

A mental health nurse has been banned for life after having sex with a patient in his home.

Samuel Broomhead, who worked for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, started a relationship with the patient who he was caring for.

Mr Broomhead, who has been a registered mental health nurse since 2016, admitted his behaviour to a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel during a hearing last month.

In an email sent to them, he said: "I'm personally sure that I shouldn't be a nurse anymore as a result of my own actions."

The panel heard how the relationship started just three weeks after the woman became a patient, with Mr Broomhead using his work phone to text her.

During their relationship, the pair had sex at least twice while he was seeing her for sessions, the first time being in his own home.

The patient asked Mr Broomhead whether he was just ‘using her’ and he replied: “If it is just sex… why would I risk my job”.

The pair went out together to a pub and had a drink together, despite the fact the patient’s medication meant they were not supposed to consume alcohol.

None of the extra communication, visits or the outing to the pub were recorded in the patient’s medical notes.

When the patient was transferred to a hospital in September 2020, she disclosed the relationship between the pair.

Mr Broomhead was suspended by the trust, pending investigation, and later resigned on June 30, 2021.

The Nurse and Midwifery Council found that his behaviour was “inappropriate in any event”, and was aggravated further by the fact that he was doing it with “the intention of pursuing a sexual relationship” with her.

They went on to say that his behaviour had “risked harm” to the patient and that he had “abused his position of trust”, something Mr Broomhead also admitted.

In a case management form, Mr Broomhead said: “I also fully accept that it was me who undertook the actions, and that they were fully unacceptable.

“I deeply regret my actions and take full responsibility. I regret causing harm to the patient, who did not deserve this at all and deserved fully professional care at all times.

“I have thought about the consequences of my actions every day since the incident and still struggle to come to terms with the fact that I allowed myself to do what I did.

“I apologise to the individual specifically involved, and also anybody else who is involved in this process.

“I would like it to be known I have no intention to stand against any decision, I fully accept the outcomes”

The panel agreed that Mr Broomhead’s fitness to practice was impaired on public protection and public interest grounds, due to the level of trust a member of the public should be able to have with a medical professional.

The aggravating features were found to be an abuse of a position of trust, actual harm caused, misconduct that occurred more than once over several weeks, and the patient being particularly vulnerable.

The mitigating features however saw Mr Broomhead accept the concerns at both a local and NMC level, as well as showing some insight and remorse.

Mr Broomhead was given a striking-off order, meaning he will never be able to practice as a registered nurse again.

Maria Nelligan, Chief Nurse and Quality Officer from Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Mr Broomhead’s actions were completely unacceptable and he was immediately suspended when we were made aware of the claims. We also referred the matter to the NMC.

“Our nurses are in a position of trust and are expected to act with integrity and professionalism at all times. Mr Broomhead breached the standards we take pride in and hold our staff accountable to.

“The overwhelming majority of our nurses deliver excellent care and it is rare we have cases of misconduct such as this that go against everything nursing is about."