Nurse struck off after fling with psychiatric patient

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A nurse who began a sexual relationship with a psychiatric patient he was looking after at an Eastbourne mental health unit has been banned from working as a nurse ever again.

Bryan Cranston was a nurse at the NHS-run mental health unit based at the DGH site and working in Bodiam ward when he started a sexual relationship with the woman, who was recovering from an illness, in 2011.

Staff were told to not to encourage the woman – described as “vulnerable” – but despite this Cranston gave her his email address. After she left the unit in April 2011 he exchanged “flirtatious” emails and text messages with her and began a sexual relationship in January last year, a Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing was told. He did not tell his ward manager Godwin Dhliwayo about the affair.

Cranston was found out after the woman’s family contacted Sussex Police and the NMC. In her statement the woman told how they had spent hours in bed together and he had visited her flat when they had sex. The NMC found Cranston guilty of misconduct and banned him from working as a nurse ever again.

In a statement the NMC said, “Mr Cranston acted inappropriately towards a vulnerable service user and exploited his position of trust. The panel accepts the evidence of the patient in this matter, which is supported by seemingly contemporaneous diary entries that she made, as well as records of communication exchanged between her and Mr Cranston. The panel is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that on or about May 2 2011 Mr Cranston did commence a sexual relationship with the patient. He failed to maintain appropriate boundaries, including engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship. His actions could have been detrimental to her health.”

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said this week it welcomed the decision of the NMC to strike Bryan Cranston from the register.

Helen Greatorex, from the Trust, said, “We expect all our nurses to behave to the highest standard at all times. They look after our patients when they are at their most vulnerable. We took action against Bryan Cranston when his actions first came to light. We suspended him and referred him to the NMC because the allegations against him were so serious. He has not been able to work as a nurse since.”

Mr Cranston did not attend the hearing and did not respond to the charges.