A Liverpool-based mental health nurse who made a colleague’s “skin crawl” with a series of explicit and racist sexual remarks while they were at work has been struck off.
Michael Turner, who worked for Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust at Clock View Hospital in Walton, made crude remarks about performing sex acts on his female colleague, who was in a junior position to him in 2018. A Nursing and Midwifery Council fitness to practise panel found Mr Turner had told one woman she had a fat a*** and talked to colleagues about tying people up for sex.
Despite his behaviour, Mr Turner was only initially suspended following a panel hearing in September 2021. Following two further reviews of his sanction, both three month extensions, the NMC have now stripped Mr Turner of the right to work in the nursing profession.
A report on the new decision made public by the NMC said Mr Turner “continues to deny some of the allegations” and repeated this denial in an email sent last week. It added: “He submitted that his reflective account seems to address the allegations generally rather than address the specific issues which the previous panel asked of him.”
The document said while Mr had provided a reflective piece, “he is still denying the incidents that took place and does not accept the allegations that have been proven against them. Further to that Mr Turner’s reflective piece does not demonstrate any insight in relation to concerns relating to his sexual misconduct.”
In a written representation, Mr Turner said he was unable to attend the fresh hearing due to work commitments. He said: “While I continue to deny the specific allegations made against me, I have prepared a document in the hopes that it demonstrates my insight into the issues of sexually inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and the impact on recipients and witnesses of the same.
“I trust that my inability to attend will not be received as disinterest or dismissal of the importance of the hearing. The last five years have been incredibly difficult in many ways and I am hopeful that this chapter will soon be behind me.”
In reaching the decision to strike off Mr Turner, the NMC panel felt he had failed to demonstrate a real understanding of “why the behaviours which were found proved in this case were wrong, why they occurred, their impact on the colleagues who were the victim of those behaviours.
“Mr Turner had also not demonstrated an understanding of how the behaviour found proved which impacted negatively on the reputation of the nursing profession, nor has he acknowledged his misconduct or addressed how he would handle a similar situation differently in the future.” Officials said they had received no new information to indicate Mr Turner would not repeat his behaviour and “consistently failed” in the period of 18 months since the substantive hearing to demonstrate the “requisite level of insight.”
The panel was of the view that considerable evidence would be required to show that Mr Turner no longer posed a risk to the public and such evidence appeared unlikely to be forthcoming. As a result, a further suspension was seen to “not serve any useful purpose” and the only sanction that would adequately protect the public and serve the public interest was a striking-off order.
The order will become effective from next month. Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust was approached for comment.