Nurse failed to disclose caution

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A nurse who failed to tell his bosses he had been cautioned for assaulting a train conductor has been reprimanded by a health watchdog.

Liam Duffy, who works within the Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit in Leyland as a nurse assessor, was given a police caution after he ‘inflicted a sharp blow’ to the right shoulder of a train conductor and swore at him.

He failed to disclose the caution to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for 12 months.

Despite eventually referring himself to the professional body, at a hearing held at the Old Bailey in London, Mr Duffy was given a caution order for five years.

The order means Mr Duffy’s name will appear on the NMC register and anyone who enquiries about his registration will be informed of the order.

The assault at Lancaster train station happened on January 29, 2012. Mr Duffy, who was intoxicated at the time, did not tell his employer until January 2013 and the NMC until February 2013.

At the hearing held last week, Mr Duffy told the panel that he decided to report the caution to the NMC after seeing a news item about cautions and convictions on television.

He told the panel he loved his job and the police caution was an isolated event in an unblemished career.

The panel noted Mr Duffy was a good, well respected and competent nurse, but said the caution should have been disclosed immediately and he did not “fully appreciate” the seriousness of his behaviour.

It added: “The assault occurred in a public place against a public servant, which the panel is satisfied would have caused considerable concern to anybody who witnessed it.”

A report from the hearing concluded: “Therefore, the panel was satisfied that, although there was no risk of harm to patients, your actions would undermine confidence in the profession, and bring the nursing profession into disrepute.”

A spokesman for the Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit said: “The NHS Staffordshire and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (S&LCSU) is fully aware of the Nursing and Midwifery Council investigation and resultant hearing outcome for Liam Duffy.

“In parallel to the NMC investigation, the S&LCSU has conducted its own investigation in line with internal procedures.

“Both the internal CSU and NMC investigations are mainly pertaining to the failure to declare the police caution, with no concerns having been raised regarding Mr Duffy’s clinical practice or the safety of patients.”

A British Transport Police spokesman confirmed a 42-year-old man was given a caution following an assault at Lancaster train station on January 29, 2012.