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Trust admits concerns over rapist nurse were raised five years ago

  • 13 Comments

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”

Mark Power

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.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

Andrew Hutchinson

“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.”

  • 13 Comments

Readers' comments (13)

  • “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."

    I should say things should have been done differently, not by removing the victim, remove the perpetrator, for goodness sake.

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  • The well-worn phrase 'lessons need to be learnt' is, I am sure, being used somewhere in relation to this.

    The ability to learn from the millions of mistakes already made, and to apply that to planning ahead, now seems an impossibility. Surface-level thinking in institutions up and down the land. Do people really need to stick their finger in the fire in order to discover that it hurts?

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  • I wonder how many colleagues of the male nurse voyeur knew about his "habits" and turned a blind eye. I'm betting lots and lots of them knew.
    Thank God for the student nurse.

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  • Laha78

    This is disgusting! I agree with Frances, I'll bet there were a fair few colleagues who probably had suspicions about him but did nothing due to lack of concrete proof.
    An embarrassment and disgrace to our profession!

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  • Anonymous | 10-Apr-2015 1:14 am

    Anonymous = damned if you do, damned if you don't lynch mob.


    What preventitive measures do you think should have been in place beforehand? All males to be treated as potential predators?

    Perhaps banning mobile phones whilst on duty would be a good start, and practical though that is, the hue and cry would be huge and the clarion call would be "the many suffering because of the few" and that is where Anon's point falls down, because the cries of those impacted by safeguards on the basis of "just in case" will be loud and clear.

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  • HCSW

    Disgusting.

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  • I have worked briefly in A&E and have also accompanied several family members to A&E. I can see how during busy times this could happen as patients are often left alone behind curtains to protect their privacy. The fact that someone found the time to take photos at all in A&E would have aroused my suspicions! But isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

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  • Anonymous | 10-Apr-2015 11:46 am

    Typically shallow thinking - I'm guessing you are one of mealy-mouthed so-called "managers" that allow this sort of thing to happen - shame on you.

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  • "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."

    I should think so! There is absolutely no question that things should have been done differently. The student nurse was removed for her safety so why - during the investigation at least - is there no mention of the nurse also being removed to protect the patients and the rest of the staffs safety?

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  • The shoot first and ask questions later brigade are out in force. I am surprised that they haven't arrested all the people ( men) working in this department, after all, working with a sick individual automatically infers guilt amongst all his colleagues, they should all be chemically/ two bricks castrated as they should have known what he had on the hard-drive of his home computer or known the full details of a complaint made 6 years previously, even if they themselves were still in secondary school/ tesco at the time.
    You don't need a tendon hammer for a knee-jerk reaction on the NT website!

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