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Mental health nurse suspended following 'sexual boundaries' charges

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A mental health nurse has been suspended from the Nursing Register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) following allegations that he had ‘crossed sexual boundaries’ with one of his patients.

The charges against Mr Ngobele related to an incident in June 2009 whilst he was working as a Deputy Charge Nurse for South Essex Partnership NHS Trust, based at the Basildon Mental Health Assessment Unit.

The NMC’s Conduct Committee heard that Mr Ngobele had persuaded the patient to enter a laundry room with him and gave her his own personal telephone number.

The Committee also heard that Mr Ngobele had taken the patient out for dinner at a La Tasca Restaurant and had spoken about sex with her on the telephone. In addition, the Committee heard that whilst sex with the patient was talked about, no advances were made.

A number of other charges were originally brought against Mr Ngobele by the NMC; however these were either dismissed or found not proven by the Conduct Committee.

Mr Ngobele was suspended from the Nursing Register for a period of 12 months.  In reaching its decision to suspend Mr Ngobele, the Committee found that he had ‘inappropriately crossed sexual boundaries’ with the patient in question. In his defence, Mr Ngobele informed the committee that he “deeply regretted his actions” and that the events were an “isolated incident of failings”.

Mr Ngobele had left the UK prior to the hearing taking place and now works in Nigeria. He was however present at the hearing in London earlier this month. In cases as serious as that of Mr Ngobele, it is always advisable for the registrant to attend their hearing and to be legally represented by a specialist.

By Paul Burrows, Professional Discipline & Regulatory Department

Our team of expert fitness to practice solicitors regularly defend a range of professionals appearing before their regulatory bodies. If you have been made the subject of fitness to practice proceedings and would like advice or representation we can assist you. Please call us on 01616 966 229.