Nurse struck off after having sex with psychiatric patient he added as Facebook friend
A NURSE who had sex with a former psychiatric patient he added as a friend on Facebook has been struck off.
• David William Swankie had relationship with a patient
• Nurse struck off for ‘abusing professional position’
Community psychiatric nurse David William Swankie, who worked at St Andrews Memorial Hospital in Fife, added four patients as friends on the social networking site.
He also failed to see vulnerable patients who were referred to him, despite in some cases being told by the patient’s GP they needed help soon.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said Mr Swankie “has abused his professional position for his own ends”.
He admitted allegations relating to 29 patients, many of which related to failing to see patients on time and failing to keep adequate records.
The NMC panel said: “The evidence before the panel suggests that for a substantial amount of time in 2009 and 2010 Mr Swankie’s difficulties in his personal life affected the standard of his practice such that he failed in the requirements of his role.”
It added: “Members of the CPN [community psychiatric nurse] team raised concerns in late 2009 regarding Mr Swankie smelling of alcohol.”
In July 2010, another psychiatric nurse informed colleagues at NHS Fife that Mr Swankie was in a relationship with a patient.
The panel’s report said: “[A colleague] questioned Mr Swankie about the allegation at a meeting on 7 July 2010 and he admitted that he and Patient D were in a current relationship.
“A disciplinary investigation was conducted by Ms Duthie. Mr Swankie stated in an investigatory meeting on 30 July 2010 that he approached Patient D while at work and asked her to become his ‘friend’ on Facebook.
“He said that he believed Patient D had been discharged from the CPN service two weeks before their relationship commenced, though he had not verified this with Patient D’s [nurse].”
Mr Swankie had seen the patient some years previously, but at the time they started their relationship Patient D had only been discharged from another nurse in his team’s care for two weeks.
Mr Swankie was dismissed by NHS Fife after a disciplinary hearing in 2010.
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