A senior nurse sacked after she flashed her breasts in front of a teenage patient at a children’s hospice has escaped with a caution.
Judith Chadwick sauntered into the lounge with her top undone and joked it was ‘how to get fired’, a nursing tribunal was told.
The boy had a tracheotomy and was unable to communicate or move, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
Another staff nurse said she was shocked to witness Chadwick’s bizarre behaviour at the Brian House Children’s Hospice in Bispham on December 4, 2012, the tribunal heard.
Chadwick, who was the senior staff nurse on duty, said in a statement: “I momentarily forgot my position, where I was and who I was accountable to.
“I forgot myself and acted very stupidly and unprofessionally and abused my position of trust as a senior staff nurse.”
Chadwick’s representative Peter Melleny said the incident had been a ‘moment of madness’ and that it had been wrongly intended as a joke.
It is believed the patient was asleep at the time of the incident, and did not witness the exposure.
The nurse was suspended on December 13, 2012 and dismissed on February 14 the following year after an internal disciplinary procedure.
Panel chairman Sarah Pond said: “The panel noted Mrs Chadwick acted in a highly inappropriate manner by exposing herself in front of colleague and a vulnerable young patient.
“Her behaviour was not at the level expected of a registered nurse.
“The panel noted the insight Mrs Chadwick has shown with regard to her misconduct.
“It considered that, although serious, her misconduct was at the lower end of the spectrum.
“It bore in mind that this was a one-off incident in an otherwise unblemished nursing career of approximately 25 years.
“The panel also bore in mind this was not a case involving any public protection concerns and was satisfied Mrs Chadwick would pose no risk to the public or patients and therefore her practice rights required no restriction.
“In all the circumstances, the panel considered a two year caution order adequately marked Mrs Chadwick’s behaviour as unacceptable and not to be repeated.”
Chadwick, who was present at the tribunal in central London, admitted a single charge that she exposed her breasts in the presence of a patient and a colleague.
She received a two year caution order which will appear as a mark on her record to potential employers.
Chadwick registered as a nurse in 1989 and had worked at the hospice since November 25, 1996.
Brian House Children’s Hospice provides respite and palliative care for children with terminal illness or life limiting conditions.
A spokesman for Trinity Hospice and Brian House said: “This hearing draws a line under what has been a difficult and upsetting incident for those involved.
“This matter was reported immediately, the family involved was informed straight away and the member of staff in question was suspended pending investigation.
“Patient safeguarding and welfare is our prime responsibility and it was clear that these actions fell far short of what we expect in terms of staff professionalism.
“We therefore took the decision to dismiss this individual and refer the incident to the NMC.”