‘Sexist’ hospital boss denies telling staff he wanted to see them pole dance

  • Former head of mental health unit accused of string of racist and sexist comments to staff
  • Said he only employed women with ‘big breasts’
  • Could be struck off if NMC hearing against him
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A hospital director told female staff he wanted to see them pole-dancing and performing sex acts, a tribunal heard.

Adrian Needham said he only employed women with ‘big breasts’ and made a string of racist and sexually inappropriate comments in his dual role as director and manager of The Hamptons and Brookhaven, Bamber Bridge, Preston, the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London was told.

He allegedly told a colleague at the mental health hospital he wasn’t looking at her but at her breasts.

Henry Vallance, for the NMC, described Needham’s behaviour at the hospital towards members of staff as ‘bullying, intimidating and inappropriate’.

Mr Vallance said: “It is alleged that on numerous occasions throughout the course of his employment he behaved in an inappropriate and unprofessional manner.

“It is alleged the registrant made sexually explicit and inappropriate comments in the workplace, and various witnesses describe his comments as inappropriate, sexist and disrespectful.”

Mr Needham was employed by Optima Care.

Mr Vallance described Mr Needham as ‘undervaluing’ colleagues, and failing to treat them with dignity and respect.

Mr Needham referred to one employee’s maternity leave as ‘f***ing off,’ leaving her feeling ‘undervalued’.

Mr Vallance said Needham directed his inappropriate behaviour ‘particularly’ towards one employee, referred to as Colleague E – a young female member of staff.

Mr Needham allegedly shouted at her and threatened to deduct money from her wages.

When she challenged him, Needham is accused of saying: ‘I can do it and I will do it.’

“The registrant would stare at her from across the staff room and make sexually inappropriate comments to her,’ Mr Vallance said.

An investigation was launched into Needham’s conduct after a co-worker at Brookhavens, who was in a relationship with Colleague E, sent a letter of complaint.

During a disciplinary meeting Needham allegedly threatened Colleague E in an ‘intimidating’ manner: “You had better get this sorted, get him to withdraw the letter.”

The letter was subsequently withdrawn but an external investigation commenced and Mr Needham was suspended in March 2013.

He then resigned and took up a new post but failed to inform his new employers that he had been referred to the NMC.

He resigned from this role in August 2014.

Mr Needham, who is not present or represented, denies charges of inappropriate, sexually inappropriate, and racist behaviour.

He further denies failing to inform his employer at Atos Healthcare about his referral to the NMC.

If his fitness to practise is found to be impaired, he could be struck off.

The hearing continues.