A SURGEON at a Scottish hospital forced himself upon a nurse in a corridor, a tribunal was told.
Dr David Varghese, 45, grabbed the woman, covered her mouth with his own hand and then kissed it as she tried to fight him off, it was said.
The married father of one had been displaying an “over-familiarity” with the nurse which included him giving her his personal mobile number and talking about his wife while they tended to patients, it was alleged.
Varghese was working as a clinical fellow in cardiothoracic surgery at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary when he is alleged to have told the woman, “You know you are my favourite nurse”, in front of other members of staff, and added: “You know there is a thing between us”.
The nurse initially told colleagues about Varghese but police were eventually called in after another incident in which he stood so close to her the “sides of their bodies were touching”, it was said.
At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, the woman known as Nurse A wept as she said: “I was making up IV drugs at the time and my body just froze, I couldn’t move. I had a syringe and needle and drugs in my hand, not the type of thing you could just throw down on the table and walk away.
“There were other people there so I knew nothing was going to happen but he had the gall to come in and stand so close. I couldn’t believe what he was doing. It shook me up quite a lot. It affected me a great deal.”
Earlier the hearing was told the nurse who worked with Varghese in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) had previously enjoyed a friendly working relationship with him but problem began in July 2013 when he began making the inappropriate remarks to her.
The nurse in her 40s added: “I was shocked he was carrying on the way he was in front of an acutely ill patient. Shocked the way he was speaking and the things he was saying. I wouldn’t have said anything with a patient being there. The other nurse and I looked at each other and raised our eyebrows.
“He spoke about his wife giving him a hard time, about custody of his daughter and fighting to see his daughter and something about his dog. It all felt to me inappropriate.”
Later the pair were dealing with an “acutely unwell” patient and the nurse contacted Varghese with results of various tests. But the surgeon replied by asking if she had a piece of paper so he could give her his mobile number. He then wrote it on the back of an old thank-you card and passed it to her.
Matters allegedly escalated on 28 July 2013 when Dr Varghese stopped Nurse A.
Counsel for the General Medical Council, Bernadette Baxter said Varghese had forced himself on Nurse A. She added: “She pushed against him to try and get him away and she finally managed to release his grip.”
The hearing continues.