A MENTAL health nurse at a Chester hospital who punished patients and colleagues by tweaking their nipples faces being struck off.
Alan Currie was found guilty of pinching two patients, one of whom was a paranoid schizophrenic and two colleagues at the Rosewood Unit at Bowmere Hospital, Chester.
The second patient, who suffered from a psychotic condition, was sitting on a sofa watching television when Currie approached him from behind and used his thumb and forefinger to tweak his nipple, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
Currie also clicked his fingers and demanded tea from a student, and used his trademark gesture to punish the man when he refused.
“He then leant forwards towards me,” said the student.
“‘He grabbed my nipple with his right hand and in a pinching motion, twisted it.
“As he was doing this he said, ‘You forgot my tea’.
“This was painful and gave me great discomfort. My nipple was red and sore but it was not bruised.
“I was so shocked at first I did not say anything, then I asked him why he did that.”
He said Currie had told him in reference to the female students: “Well, I couldn’t do it to them, could I?”
The student told the tribunal he felt “extremely uncomfortable” around Currie for the remainder of his work placement.
The tribunal found Currie guilty of the “manifestly unprofessional and inappropriate behaviour” towards a second colleague.
He attempted, but failed, to tweak a third colleague’s nipples after the man prevented him from the ‘playground’ behaviour.
Panel chairman Kenneth Caley said: “The panel was in no doubt that this behaviour both in isolation and taken as a whole with all other incidents was entirely unprofessional and inappropriate.”
Currie was also found guilty of mocking a patient who suffered from schizophrenia and cerebral palsy by making hand gestures and saying ‘when you go swimming, you swim like this’.
The patient had a paralysed arm and was left in “floods of tears” by Currie’s jibes.
“The patient had cerebral palsy and therefore the panel considers that the mimicking hand gestures and derogatory comments made by Mr Currie were entirely inappropriate,” Mr Caley added.
The panel found all the allegations against Currie proved except one and have now retired to consider if his behaviour amounts to misconduct.
An allegation that he told a patient to ‘f**k off’ was found not proved due to a lack of evidence.
And an allegation that he grasped a patient on the leg was dismissed during the proceedings.
If the tribunal finds Currie guilty of misconduct, they could suspend him or throw him out of the profession.