A radiographer has been struck off after making sexual comments to a patient while working for InHealth Ltd at the DGH site.
The Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service’s Conduct and Competence Committee met on March 16 to discuss whether senior radiographer William Santos should be permanently struck off, after being suspended for 12 months back in March 2017.
The patient had been attending the hospital for a bowel scan when, according to the report put before the panel, Mr Santos said to her, “Can I tell you a secret? I want to have sex with an English girl, If I had sex with an English girl I could die.”
He is also alleged to have pulled up her gown and brushed her breast with his hand – and then messaged her on Facebook apologising for what happened, adding, “I hope you’re not gonna hate me.”
Mr Santos did not attend the hearing, but the panel heard he had sent a message saying he had left the country and did not intend to return.
The panel stated, “The panel listened with care to the submission made and determined, particularly in the absence of the attendance of the registrant today and the absence also of the provision of any of the documents recommended by the substantive hearing panel, that the fitness to practise of this registrant remains impaired.
“The panel echoes the views of the previous panel to the effect that the misconduct found proved is remediable, but it is faced with the unquestioned fact that the registrant has failed to engage with his professional body for nearly two years.
“There is, thus, no information as to what, if anything, the registrant is currently doing, or even in which country he is living.
“In all these circumstances, it is plain to the panel that no suitable conditions of practice can be formulated and that an extension of the order of suspension would achieve nothing.
“Consequently, the only proportionate and appropriate sanction to impose now is that of a striking off order.”
Mr Santos was employed by InHealth Ltd and worked at the DGH site from July 2015 to February 2016.
Geoff Searle, managing director of Integrated Services for InHealth, said, “Patient safety is of the highest priority across all services delivered by InHealth.
“As such, when InHealth became aware of the allegations relating to the behaviour of Mr Santos he was immediately suspended from the service and was subsequently dismissed.
“InHealth highlighted the issue at the earliest opportunity and engaged closely with the Health and Care Professions Council throughout the process.”
A DGH spokesperson added, “The radiographer, Mr Santos, was not employed by the Trust. He worked, at the time of the incident, for InHealth who provide MRI scanning facilities at Eastbourne DGH.
“The safety and welfare of our patients is our primary concern and we acknowledge InHealth’s swift action in suspending Mr Santos and reporting him to the Health and Care Professions Council.”