Sexist hospital boss struck off

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A hospital director who said he only employed women with ‘big breasts’ has been struck off.

Adrian Needham made a string of sexually inappropriate comments – including telling female colleagues he wanted to see them pole-dancing – in his dual role as director and manager of The Hamptons and Brookhaven, Bamber Bridge, Preston.

The panel found that one colleague in particular suffered prolonged abuse and threats from Mr Needham.

Najrul Khasru

Striking Needham off, 
Nursing and Midwifery Council panel chairman Najrul Khasru said: “On multiple occasions Mr Needham acted in a threatening manner towards colleagues and made comments which were racially and sexually motivated.

‘‘Mr Needham created a hostile environment in the work place and made life difficult for his colleagues.”

Needham was employed by Optima Care as a hospital director at a site in Preston, which consisted of two separate units, Brookhaven and The Hamptons.

He was also the registered manager of the Hamptons unit at the time. The hospital is a rehabilitation service for adults with mental health problems.

Needham was director from December 2012 until December 9, 2013 when he was suspended, and later resigned his post.

A probe was launched into Needham’s conduct after a colleague sent a letter of complaint.

During a disciplinary meeting, Needham told his colleague 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The letter was subsequently withdrawn, but an external investigation commenced and Needham suspended in March 2013.

Following his resignation, he took up a new post, but failed to inform his employers that he had been referred to the NMC.

Najrul Khasru added: “The panel found that one colleague in particular suffered prolonged abuse and threats from Mr Needham.

‘‘On multiple occasions Mr Needham had been abusive to members of staff in a public area where service users, visitors and the public may have been present.

“Mr Needham placed service users at direct risk of harm through the manner in which he managed the service. He also caused service users harm indirectly by negatively affecting members of staff so they were not able to do their jobs properly.”

Needham, who was not present or represented, was found guilty of 10 allegations relating to inappropriate, sexually inappropriate, and racist behaviour and of failing to inform his employer at Atos Healthcare about his referral to the NMC.

He said in an email to the tribunal: “I refute all the charges against me and believe that this has been a witch hunt, yet I would say that if at any point during my career I have upset someone inadvertently, I am truly sorry for this, as all I have tried to do is my job to the best of my ability and would never intentionally say or do anything that would upset anyone.”