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Nurse fit to practise despite obscene image

  • 16 Comments

A male nurse has been found guilty of misconduct after he downloaded an obscene image onto a hospital computer.

Dennis Griffiths, 32, of Kingswinford, West Midlands, was told that he would be allowed to continue practising as a registered nurse despite his actions.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council disciplinary panel heard that Mr Griffiths downloaded an image of an Alsatian dog mounting a naked man and saved it as wallpaper on the computer on the ward where he worked.

A female colleague was unexpectedly confronted by the image when she later logged on to the computer.

The image made her “sick to her stomach” and she was deeply traumatised to the extent that she eventually underwent six counselling sessions, the panel heard.

Mr Griffiths, who argued that the image was neither obscene nor indecent, was found guilty of a series of charges at the end of a four-day NMC hearing in Cardiff, south Wales.

He was working for Dudley Group of Hospitals Trust at Russells Hall Hospital when the incident occurred in July 2007.

Mr Griffiths had already been suspended and later sacked from his job with the trust.

Despite an 18-month career change as a driving instructor, he has since returned to work as a registered nurse.

The NMC panel ruled that, despite his actions amounting to misconduct, no further action would be taken against him.

The panel took the view that it had been a one-off incident which was very unlikely to be repeated.

Mr Griffiths had denied accessing an obscene and/or indecent image on a trust computer within the hospital ward where he worked.

He also denied failing to take appropriate action to protect colleagues, visitors and patients being exposed to the image.

The NMC disciplinary panel found him guilty of both allegations.

  • 16 Comments

Readers' comments (16)

  • Im surprised he had the time to be surfing the internet-I barely get time to log on and answer my emails!! what was he thinking and how does he not consider such an image to be obscene,its pretty scarery to think a fellow professional thinks this is not offensive and that it would be a good idea to do such a thing!

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  • "A female colleague was unexpectedly confronted by the image when she later logged on to the computer.

    The image made her “sick to her stomach” and she was deeply traumatised to the extent that she eventually underwent six counselling sessions, the panel heard."


    How on earth did we as a nation survive two world wars? People went through the blitz without requiring six sessions of counselling.
    How utterly pathetic that someone be so fragile as to be that "deeply traumatised" at the sight of a picture. Let us hope this individual never has to come into contact with patients or she may just faint dead away.
    I despair, I really do.

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  • Personally I think the NHS needs to be snapping up the therapist who turned around a "deeply traumatised" patient in just six sessions.

    This article takes quotes from the NMC's own records and they are regularlry full of such sensationalist statements that the NMC's panel members and barristers like to throw in to paint an accused registrant in the worst possible light.

    Its worth noting that animal/human sexual contact is illegal in the UK, and yet there is no mention of a police investigation which would have been conducted in advance of NMC proceedings.

    Clearly someone needs to tell the truth and tell it clearly.

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  • How utterly ridiculous was this woman who was allegedly "sick to her stomach" and deeply traumatised - I would be very interested to know; a) if she submitted a claim for compensation against the Trust, and b) did she have any previous disagreements with this person and consequently used it as a personal vendetta against him.

    I am not condoning his actions in any way at all, but I think there may be more to this story than first meets the eye.

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  • Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. This is so ridiculous that it is funny. It's like a joke told by lads in the pub after work. Er, you know what happened at work today, I put a woman into trauma even though I wasn't there. She logged into my personal computer and saw a picture of a dog. Ha, ha, ha. How sad.

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  • The image made her “sick to her stomach” and she was deeply traumatised to the extent that she eventually underwent six counselling sessions, the panel heard.

    it does seem very far fetched and how is this person ever going to survive in nursing.

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  • many people are traumatised and that is when you get into work? you dont know what you are going to get? i dont think one person is not 'sick to their stomach with short staff, threats to our pay,and heavy work loads,on our feet all shift dont sit down unless we colapese.
    wrong place wrong time chap!
    agree with the above

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  • thats it no wildlife or calendar boys/girls calendars this christmas?

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  • what would this nurse have done in the days before counselling. after all it is just another fashion.

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  • What has not been raised by previous comments is the decision by the NMC to allow the individual to continue practicing.

    The article reports that the NMC belived that this was a one off event; however, the nurse appears to deny that the image might be construed as offensive or that he had failed to protect colleagues/visitors.

    I would question if the NMC is upholding the reputation of nursing by allowing this individual to continuing to practice.

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