Nurse admits sexual relationship with teenage patient

A nurse could be struck-off after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a vulnerable teenage patient.

Mark Mclaughlin met the girl as a 17-year-old in 2006 when he was in his late thirties and she was admitted as an outpatient to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Ilford.

After taking an initial assessment, he commenced weekly therapy sessions.

She was later discharged from the service but the consultant nurse kept in touch with her because it was ‘good procedure’, the Nursing and Midwifery Council tribunal heard.

Mclaughlin, who held the post of consultant nurse in the South Essex Partnership University NHS Trust for five years, has admitted having three year relationship with his former patient.

The patient was admitted to Brookside inpatient unit in Ilford, which cares for people with ‘severe psychological, behavioural and emotional difficulties’.

The nurse told the fitness to practice tribunal in central London that she was ‘very well’ when he saw her for the second time in 2007 on her discharge from Brookside.

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But Mclaughlin kept in touch with her.

‘Because we had known her so long and it was a long admission it is just good procedure that you stay in tough with somebody that has been discharged,’ he said.

Mclaughlin admitted that he was in a relationship with the patient between July 2008 and August 2011 and that the relationship was sexual between August 2010 and August 2011.

But he denies embarking on a relationship with his former patient from May to June 2008 and any having any sexual motivation over during that time.

He also denies his relationship with the service user was sexually motivated from as early on as July 2008.

If the panel find he is guilty of misconduct, Mclaughlin could be struck-off the register.

The hearing continues.