A mental health nurse who put patients at risk while he surfed the internet looking for torture, rape and Nazi websites has been struck off by the nursing regulator.
A Nursing and Midwifery Council panel concluded staff nurse Bryan Neal Harris had breached “fundamental tenets of the profession” and found “his behaviour was fundamentally incompatible with him remaining on the register”.
A fitness to practise panel heard Mr Harris was employed as a staff nurse at the Hillcrest Mental Health Unit, part of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, where he had worked for 34 years.
While he was on duty, Mr Harris used his office computer to visit websites concerning Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, torture methods and instruments, the history of the SS and one site relating to the torture, murder and rape of prisoners.
He also watched television programmes over the internet and carried out personal searches for items, such as car parts.
The NMC panel also heard he allowed healthcare assistants to administer PRN medication without carrying out assessments of the patients.
Fitness to practise panel chair William Nelson said: “The panel considered that by spending so much time on the internet Mr Harris would not have been able to fulfil his nursing duties towards his patients, and that his patients would have suffered as a result.
“Mr Harris was sometimes the only registered nurse on duty for a ward with very vulnerable patients,” he said.
“His actions put his patients at risk of harm, and were a serious departure from good practice. His behaviour in accessing inappropriate internet sites whilst at work brought the profession into disrepute,” he added.
Mr Harris was dismissed from his job at Hillcrest with immediate effect in September 2011.
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