Lancashire mental health nurse struck off after admitting he slept with vulnerable bi-polar patient during sessions

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A Lancashire mental health nurse who had sex with a bi-polar patient during medical sessions has been struck off.

Samuel Broomhead, who was employed as a Crisis Practitioner on the Home Treatment Team (HTT) at Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust, admitted five charges against him as part of a hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

What happened?

A hearing was told that a personal relationship occurred approximately three weeks after Patient A came into the HTT and was allocated to Mr Broomhead’s caseload. In total, she was under his care for six to eight weeks.

NHS services are run by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation TrustNHS services are run by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust
NHS services are run by Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Mr Broomhead would text Patient A from his work phone.

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He had sexual intercourse with her on at least two occasions when he saw her for their sessions, the first time that they had sexual intercourse was at his home address.

Mr Broomhead also took Patient A on a trip to Blackpool one evening outside of working hours and allowed her to drink alcohol. He was aware she shouldn't drink alcohol with her lithium medication. He also didn't document anything about his visit with Patient A to Blackpool, to the pub, his house or any other visits or communication outside of the agreed hours in Patient A’s medical records.

How did it all come to light?

On 30 September, 2020, the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) attended the home of Patient A.

During a journey to hospital she told the crew that she was a patient of the HTT and was in an intimate and sexual relationship with a nurse from the team.

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Following this, NWAS made a safeguarding referral and informed the Trust of what Patient A had said.

Mr Broomhead was identified as the member of staff and the Trust investigated the allegations. Mr Broomhead was suspended pending investigation and later resigned from the Trust on 30 June, 2021.

On July 19, 2021, the NMC received a referral from the Trust regarding Mr Broomhead’s fitness to practise.

What did the NMC rule?

The NMC ruled to strike Mr Broomhead off as a nurse.

The report states: “Patient A was a particularly vulnerable patient and Mr Broomhead’s actions caused her actual harm. This behaviour has raised fundamental questions about his professionalism and public confidence can only be maintained if he is removed from the register.

"Only a striking-off order would be sufficient to protect the public and maintain public confidence in the profession.”

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What does Samuel Broomhead say?

In an email to the NMC dated September 1, 2021, Mr Broomhead said: “I'm personally sure that I shouldn't be a nurse any more as a result of my own actions”.

Mr Broomhead also stated on April 28, 2022: "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”.

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What does the Trust say?

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. “