A hospital worker who tweeted that he was going to use pubic hair shaved from a patient to create the sideburns sported by Olympic cycling champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has been cautioned after a tribunal concluded that his fitness to practise is impaired.
Paul Nam, who tweeted under the handle “Sir Cockhardt”, has been handed a three-year caution order, a Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) spokeswoman said.
The tribunal panel criticised his “tasteless and insensitive” tweets.
The operating department practitioner, who used to work at Lincoln County Hospital, said he now feels “embarrassed and ashamed” over a series of tweets he posted on the social networking site in 2012.
The tribunal heard that Mr Nam - himself a keen cyclist - posted: “I was going to save the pubes from the first patient I shaved today and stick them on Wiggins-style”
He told the hearing that he was frustrated at being unable to communicate concerns about United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust to management.
The HCPC was told Mr Nam had been employed by the trust from April 2007 but resigned his post ahead of an internal disciplinary hearing in February last year.
He posted a series of tweets from August 1, 2012 before a member of operating theatre staff raised the alarm and he was suspended in September of that year.
Other tweets included a photograph of the trust board with an accompanying comment: “Bunch of Vandals except top right, No, he’s a complete *******”.
The hearing was told he posted a picture of an ambulance and commented: “casualty busy as ever! I am now waiting in A&E for the victims of light aircraft crash, will keep you posted” and also tweeted a photograph of a theatre list showing the names of surgeons and anaesthetists, and procedures commenting “think yourself lucky your (sic) not doing my list”.
Mr Nam admitted posting the tweets but he said his current fitness to practice is not impaired. However, the panel ruled against him.
In its ruling, the disciplinary panel said: “The panel concluded that Mr Nam’s repeated use of Twitter for comments about his workplace and colleagues fell short of the standards expected of a registered operating department practitioner on a number of occasions.
“Mr Nam’s misconduct involved posting tasteless and insensitive tweets over a period of three weeks.”
Are you able to Speak out Safely?
Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS