Rotherham doctor suspended after ‘sexualised behaviour’ towards nurse in consulting room

Christel Deskins

A Rotherham doctor has been suspended for 10 months, following a hearing which accused him of “serious misconduct”. Dr Christian Hanson was working as a speciality doctor at Rotherham General Hospital when the incident occurred. A tribunal hearing which concluded yesterday (October 1), heard that Dr Hansen’s conduct had “Subjected [the […]

A Rotherham doctor has been suspended for 10 months, following a hearing which accused him of “serious misconduct”.

Dr Christian Hanson was working as a speciality doctor at Rotherham General Hospital when the incident occurred.

A tribunal hearing which concluded yesterday (October 1), heard that Dr Hansen’s conduct had “Subjected [the victim] to unwanted sexually motivated behaviour when she was alone with him in a consulting room”.

The victim referred to as Ms A, was a nurse working with Dr Hanson, who qualified from the Leningrad Institute of Paediatrics in 1979, in June 2018.

A background report to the hearing states: “It is alleged that Dr Hanson, while working on a night shift walked closely behind Ms A, a nurse from the reception area, down a corridor and placed his hand on Ms A’s hips as they both passed through a door.

“Ms A then entered a consulting room to search for a lost set of keys. It was further alleged that Dr Hanson followed Ms A into the consulting room, where he allegedly pulled her towards him and grabbed her by the hips ‘clamping’ her legs between his legs.

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“It is alleged that Dr Hanson then whispered in her ear whilst pushing his body against her back. It is alleged that this conduct was sexually motivated. There was CCTV footage of Dr Hanson and Ms A walking down the corridor and entering the consulting room, but there was no CCTV footage from inside the consulting room.

“Ms A reported the alleged incident to her line manager within minutes of leaving the consulting room and made a written record of the events in question, detailing the alleged events.

“Both Ms A and Dr Hanson were sent home by the hospital. Subsequently, the Rotherham Foundation Trust carried out a local investigation and held a conduct hearing on December 13, 2018. The Trust referred the incident to the GMC.”

Ms A attended the tribunal in person as a witness, and tribunal members heard evidence such as Ms A’s witness statement, messages between Ms A and her mother on the night of the incident, and a witness statement from Dr Hanson.

A document following the tribunal states that Ms A’s consistency throughout her evidence was consistent, and that prior to the incident she had a “good working relationship” with Dr Hanson.

The document continued: “Although the tribunal did not hear evidence from Dr Hanson, it gave careful consideration to the summary of the statements that Dr Hanson gave to the trust during the initial investigation into the incident.

“The Tribunal noted that Dr Hanson stated that nothing untoward happened in the consulting room. The Tribunal considered that it was highly unlikely that Ms A would entirely fabricate the index event in the consulting room and that she had no reason to do so.

“Accordingly, on the balance of probabilities the Tribunal found that the events relating to [the] incident in the office were more likely than not to have occurred.

“The tribunal rejected Dr Hanson’s account given to the Trust that there effectively had been no interaction between Ms A and him whilst in the consulting room as wholly improbable”

GMC representative Mr Daniel Fugallo submitted that “a hospital doctor will often be in a position of power over a nurse.”

He submitted that “Dr Hanson’s conduct amounted to an abuse of this position and which was exacerbated by the fact Ms A was, as Dr Hanson knew, alone in the Department and he had subjected her to unwanted sexually motivated behaviour when she was alone with him in a consulting room.”

Mr Fugallo submitted that because of the seriousness of the incident, which involved an ”abuse of trust”, immediate action should be taken to protect public confidence in the profession.

Rotherham General Hospital has been contacted for comment.

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