A professor knighted for services to nursing has been found guilty of sexually-motivated misconduct towards an 83-year-old widow who was sent to him for bereavement counselling.
Sir George Castledine, who addressed the pensioner as “my little tinkerbell” and told her he loved her, was found guilty of a string of allegations by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
A fitness to practise panel sitting in London also ruled that some of the professor’s contact with the pensioner, known as Patient A, had been financially-motivated.
Sir George, 66, admitted giving the woman flowers, accompanying her on a trip to Wales, and telling her he had to go to the gym to keep fit or he “wouldn’t be able to make love”.
He further conceded during the hearing that he had failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with the patient by visiting her home at night, giving her Christmas presents, and accepting aftershave in return.
Among the disputed charges found proven by the NMC was an allegation that Sir George dishonestly sought to procure statements from Patient A that he knew were not true.
The NMC panel’s findings come four months after Sir George issued an apology for any distress his actions may have caused.
Speaking at the hearing last September, he said: “I would like apologise for the fact that my actions have led us to be here today and also in particular to the patient and her family.”
Sir George, who was given a knighthood for his services to healthcare in 2007, added: “Throughout my career I have always endeavoured to put the patient first.
“There have been aspects of this case which have greatly upset me and this has been a salutary experience.”
But the registered nurse denied that his conduct towards the woman in 2009, when he was working as a centre manager for the Institute of Ageing and Health in Birmingham, had been either sexually or financially motivated.
Outlining the details of his career, the professor noted that he used to work for the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing and Midwifery, one of the forerunners of the NMC.
“I’m pretty sure that I chaired the first ever temporary suspension of a nurse in this country,” he told the hearing.
The panel in Sir George’s case is currently considering whether his fitness to practise is impaired by his conduct.
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