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Case study: struck off after Facebook contact

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Timothy Hyde, a community psychiatric nurse who worked in Somerset, was struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in 2010 for conducting an inappropriate relationship with a former patient he contacted using Facebook.

He had met the patient when she attended a screening assessment. During subsequent counselling and support sessions, he learnt she had a history of difficult relationships and self harm.

Two weeks after she was discharged, Mr Hyde contacted her. Over the following five weeks, they saw each other regularly and developed a sexual relationship, which the patient eventually ended.

She reported that Mr Hyde had stated to her that he “did not have space for someone like her in his life” and blocked her as a Facebook friend.

The woman later told her treating psychologist that she believed Mr Hyde had used his knowledge of her when choosing his parting words to her and the comments had led to an episode of self harm.

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