Ban for nurse who made gay sexual advances to vulnerable mentally ill patient

Dominic Joannou has been struck off (stock pic)

Dominic Joannou has been struck off (stock pic) - Credit: Archant

A male nurse who made gay sexual advances to a vulnerable patient and disclosed confidential information numerous times has been struck off.

Dominic Joannou, who worked for the Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust, was booted out of his profession for gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Joannou was sacked by health chiefs for a string of wrongdoing, including engaging in raunchy exchanges with a patient under his care.

The patient referred to as ‘client A’, was described as young asylum seeker who had previously been sexually abused, had a history of substance abuse and had no family or support mechanisms.

In December 2012, Joannou, pressured him to admit that he would have enjoyed sexual experience and was told that he was a very good looking bisexual person and could make a lot of money as a male prostitute.

NMC also heard that Joannou, who spent more than 20 years as a practicing nurse, once met with the patient who was only in his underwear.

The nurse, who worked as a care coordinator with the assessment and brief treatment team, which focuses on those affected by mental health problems, admitted his actions were sexually motivated.

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In a statement provided to the investigation team, Joannou said he shared very personal and longstanding feelings towards the patient under his care.

He said: “It had only been client A that has challenged me on both a personal and emotional level for this length of time.”

Joannou was brought into further disrepute for not disclosing to his team that he had previous personal feelings towards the patient between July 2008 and November when agreeing to work with him in 2012.

The panel heard he breached patient confidentiality on numerous occasions, once sharing to the coordinator of unaccompanied minors befriending programmed aimed at asylum seekers aged 25 and under that client A was raped.

Joannou was suspended from his duty in February 2013 after an investigation internal investigation and later dismissed following a disciplinary hearing on July 18 this year.

In making a decision, the panel said: “The mitigating circumstances include the fact that Ms Joannou made admissions, albeit belatedly, and that he had sought help to address his behaviour, though he was not successful in doing so.”

A CNWL spokeman said: “We support the NMC decisions. The failings were not about clinical treatment but a concealed inappropriate relationship with a vulnerable patient. He was dismissed when we found out and we referred him to the NMC. They agreed he had not been “open and honest” and so safeguarding procedures did not pick this up. This NMC decision justifies our dismissing him, which we will do if anyone behaves like this. Patient trust cannot be undermined in this way.”

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