Nurse suspended for groping semi-conscious patient

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A MALE nurse groped a patient as he recovered from a general anaesthetic, a hearing was told.

Granville Gregory De Souza has been suspended for 18 months following the incident at a private hospital in Edinburgh.

The evidence, from a man known only as Patient A, was heard behind closed doors by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and details have only now been released.

Patient A was at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital in September 2008 for a biopsy of lung tissue.

The patient claimed that he awoke from the operation to find De Souza touching him inappropriately.

The nurse did not attend and a letter was read by his lawyers saying that he was currently living in Australia and did not plan to come to any hearing or come back to the UK.

The letter stated that he had

“decided to take early retirement and leave the nursing profession’ but that he denied all allegations against him.

The panel heard a statement by De Souza that was given to Matthew Calver, risk manager for Spire Healthcare.

In the statement De Souza admitted that he had touched Patient A’s groin area but that it was because he was washing the patient after surgery.

He also denied that the patient had become aroused.

But evidence given by Patient A said that after he woke from the operation he recalled speaking to the nurse and asking him for his mobile phone to check for the Scotland score.

He remembered putting the mobile phone down and then drifting off to sleep.

His next memory was of waking up with the nurse touching his genitals in a sexual manner.

It is added that he

“immediately pressed the alarm button’ but it was cancelled by De Souza and the patient pressed it again.

The panel heard that the patient had been so concerned at the time that he asked for the police to be called.

He had also recalled what had happened to various staff members and gave exactly the same account.

Patient A was interviewed by the police who charged De Souza but he was not prosecuted in court.

The panel found that the patient

“maintained a consistent and credible account of the incident’ but that De Souza’s account was inconsistent.

It was therefore proved the Mr De Souza did touch the patient

“inappropriately’ and also that his conduct in was

“sexually motivated.”

The panel stated:

“Mr De Souza’s fitness to practise was impaired at the time of the incident on 10 September 2008 and in the absence of any engagement by him with these proceedings, continues to be currently impaired. “

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