Concerns about an accident and emergency nurse convicted last month of raping and photographing unconscious patients at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford were raised more than five years ago, it has emerged.
A complaint of voyeurism was made against A&E staff nurse Andrew Hutchinson in 2009. It is understood he was accused of “inappropriate behaviour” and taking photographs of a student nurse who was working in the department at the time, according to Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal.
Last month Mr Hutchinson pleaded guilty to 27 counts of rape, voyeurism and sexual assault at Oxford Crown Court, including four attacks on unconscious patients in the hospital’s A&E department between 2011 and 2012.
The trust today confirmed a complaint of voyeurism was made in 2009 and that it carried out an investigation but took no action against Mr Hutchinson, who is due to be sentenced on 27 April.
“The trust is, of course, reviewing its policies and procedure”
The student nurse was prematurely moved from her placement in the department as a result but was supported by her university who made the complaint to the trust on her behalf. The name of the university has not been disclosed at this stage to protect the identity of the student.
The trust said that in light of the criminal case against Mr Hutchinson and the 2009 complaint, it would now be reviewing its policies and procedures to identify whether anything could have been done differently in 2009.
Mr Hutchinson was arrested on suspicion of voyeurism offences at a leisure centre in Abingdon in November 2013 where the majority of offences were carried out.
Thames Valley Police identified further victims, including images of unconscious patients at the hospital A&E department when police seized a mobile phone, computer equipment, memory stick and camera. A number of victims remain unidentified.
Mr Hutchinson was also convicted of stealing a fibre optic nasopharyngoscope imaging device from the hospital as well as possession of class B drug ketamine and five charges of making indecent images of children.
Mark Power, director of workforce at Oxford University Hospitals Trust, said: “I can confirm that a complaint of alleged voyeurism relating to a member of staff was made against Andrew Hutchinson in 2009.
“The complaint was made indirectly by a third party and related to a female student nurse. Despite the indirect nature of the complaint the trust conducted an investigation, which concluded that there was insufficient evidence to uphold the complaint. Therefore no disciplinary action was taken.
“However, information relating to the allegation was retained within Andrew Hutchinson’s personal records and shared with Thames Valley Police as part of their recent investigations,” he said.
“As a consequence of these latest events the trust is, of course, reviewing its policies and procedures and considering whether anything could have been done differently in 2009,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police said it had undertaken extensive investigations to identify all the victims in photographs they recovered in 2013, adding that it was not carrying out further work to identify other potential victims.
At the time of Hutchinson’s conviction, detective chief inspector Mark Johns said: “I have no doubt that Hutchinson would have continued to offend had he not been arrested.”