Nurse admits misconduct over murder suspect phone calls
6:17pm Tuesday 27th May 2014 in News
A MENTAL health nurse who had phone calls containing sexual innuendo with a murder suspect former patient of a Raglan hospital has admitted misconduct.
The former patient, who told nurse David Abbey Kwei that she loved him, was in prison at the time awaiting trial for murdering her seven-year-old son.
Mr Kwei admitted “inappropriate ongoing contact” with the woman, known as Patient A, at a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) conduct hearing in Cardiff today.
Monwara Shah, for the NMC, said Mr Kwei had worked in various nursing roles at Llanarth Court Hospital in Raglan between July 2001 and January 2013, including as charge nurse on a 16-bed secure ward for women suffering from mental illness and personality disorder.
Patient A was on the ward from September 2010 under the Mental Health Act while awaiting trial for murder, before being moved to HMP Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire in 2012.
The hearing heard the patient was convicted of murder and was jailed for 17 years.
While in prison it was said she made 27 phone calls to Mr Kwei’s direct line, including three calls between December 28 and 31, 2012, which were the subject of yesterday’s hearing and contained “sexual innuendo”, the tribunal heard.
Excerpts from transcripts of the calls show Mr Kwei asking patient A if her calls were being monitored or recorded.
He was later dismissed from the organisation.
The NMC received a complaint about Mr Kwei from Llanarth Court on April 12, 2013.
Christian Howells, for Mr Kwei, asked him if he thought it had been an appropriate relationship.
Mr Kwei said: “After all the training I’ve done, no. My duty as a registrant is to act openly and uphold the reputation of the profession and I wasn’t behaving professionally with my conversations.
“This isn’t the first patient I’ve been in contact with after they’ve been discharged,” he said. “There were no policies saying I couldn’t do that, but I can’t use that as an excuse. The patients were not in my care.”
The tribunal heard from Llanarth Court’s human resources manager Sylvia Cashmore, who oversaw Mr Kwei’s disciplinary hearing.
She said if a patient or former patient phoned a member of staff, it was procedure to notify the responsible clinician and raise it at ward round meetings, but that this was not done by Mr Kwei.
Mr Kwei said after he was dismissed from Llanarth Court he reflected on his actions, and spent his own money attending professional development courses in Chester and online, and now in his job at Rushcliffe Independent Hospital, near Port Talbot, tried to act professionally at all times.
“I made mistakes, everybody makes mistakes,” he said, admitting that members of the public would be shocked to read the allegation against him. “I’ve tried to correct it to make sure I’ll never make the mistake again.”
Mr Howells said Mr Kwei admitted misconduct but had been “remarkably honest and open” during the hearing and described the calls as “a misjudgement in an otherwise unblemished career”.
The NMC panel decided misconduct had impaired Mr Kwei’s fitness to practise. Any sanctions will be decided on tomorrow.