Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Nurse Christopher Conlin cautioned over relationships
A married nurse who had inappropriate relationships with two young nursing students has been given a caution.
Christopher Conlin hugged, kissed and stroked the first woman during a series of illicit meetings in hospital supply cupboards.
A few months later Conlin started a relationship with a second 21-year-old student and spent the night with her in the same bed.
Conlin was given a 12-month caution order after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel ruled he was unlikely to put any patients at “unwarranted risk of harm” in the future.
The first student was being mentored by Conlin after being threatened by a patient at the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust’s York House in York.
The woman, known only as Student A, described the relationship as “slow to develop”, beginning with flirtatious eye contact but their conversations became more personal and they kissed in the clinical room.
The panel heard the pair never had sex during their relationship and their encounters took place at York House.
The relationship came to light after the second woman, Student B, told student A she had also been seeing Conlin between December 2009 and February 2010.
The panel heard that Conlin and Student B had spent a night away together and had slept in the same bed.
Student B said that although they had not had sex, they had ‘done everything else’.
Conlin admitted having an inappropriate relationship with both women, but denied that his actions were sexually motivated.
The panel found his actions were sexually motivated only in respect of Student A. He admitted the physical contact with Student A, but denied telling her he would leave his wife for her.
The panel found Conlin’s fitness to practise was currently impaired by reason of misconduct.
The hearing was told Conlin was currently working on crofts in north-west Scotland and occasionally as a volunteer serving tea and coffee at a walk-in centre for people with mental health issues.
The panel decided his misconduct was “uncharacteristic behaviour in an otherwise unblemished career”.
Handing Conlin a caution order for 12 months, chairman Leslie Cuthbert said there have been no other reported incidents of an inappropriate nature and took into account his “remorse, shame and expressions of apology”.
Mr Cuthbert said: “The panel found no basis for the NMC asserting that there was a risk that he would breach professional boundaries so far as patients, families or carers are concerned.
“In all the circumstances, and in the panel’s judgement, a caution order is the appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case,” said Mr Cuthbert.
“The panel considers that such an order is sufficient to mark the level of seriousness of Mr Conlin’s misconduct, to satisfy the need to uphold professional standards.”