Nurse struck off after patient she was having sex with died 'with trousers around ankles' and she failed to call 999

4 July 2023, 08:48 | Updated: 5 July 2023, 17:45

The man died in the hospital car park
The man died in the hospital car park. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

A married nurse has been banned from the profession after a patient she was having sex with died after a secret liaison, and she ignored advice to call for an ambulance.

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Penelope Williams, 42, began working in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board as a registered nurse in a renal haemodialysis unit in October 2019.

Patient A regularly attended the unit for dialysis treatment and a secret sexual relationship between the pair started in January 2021, a fitness to practise panel heard.

On the night of Patient A's death, the pair were having a secret liaison, when he suddenly groaned and blacked out.

Ms Williams called another nurse - known as Colleague 1 - to resuscitate her lover, but did not dial 999.

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Colleague 1 told her to call an ambulance and went to the car park herself. Upon meeting Ms Williams in the car park found Patient A partially clothed and unresponsive.

The presenting officer told the fitness to practise hearing: "She could see a man in the back of a car who was Patient A. Colleague 1 went to check Patient A who was unresponsive so she called 999 asking for the police and ambulance as Mrs Williams had not already called for an ambulance which Colleague 1 had suggested during their phone call.

"The 999 call handler advised Colleague 1 to perform CPR. When they took Patient A out of the car his trousers were down. Patient A subsequently died from heart failure and chronic kidney disease triggered by a medical episode."

Mrs Williams initially told police and a paramedic in attendance that she had gone to the scene to meet Patient A after he messaged her on Facebook that he was unwell.

In a later statement to police, she admitted that the pair were in a sexual relationship and had previously arranged to meet at the car park that evening.

But she denied this in a formal meeting with the Health Board in February, explaining that "she met with Patient A and sat at the back of his car for about 30-45 minutes just talking", before he started groaning and suddenly died.

At a local disciplinary hearing with the Health Board in May, Mrs Williams admitted to the relationship and not calling an ambulance even after being advised to.

She was sacked with "immediate effect".

Mrs Williams was ultimately struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for bringing the profession into disrepute, with the panel concluding: "Mrs Williams' actions were significant departures from the standards expected of a registered nurse, and are fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the register.

"The panel was of the view that the findings in this particular case demonstrate that Mrs Williams' actions were so serious that to allow her to continue practising would undermine public confidence in the profession and in the NMC as a regulatory body."

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has apologised for their error in identifying the site of the incident.

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