Somerset mental health nurse struck off

A mental health nurse from Somerset who started a relationship with a former patient through Facebook just two weeks after she left his care has been struck off by a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) disciplinary panel.

Timothy Hyde was not present at the conduct and competence committee hearing in central London but admitted the relationship before an earlier disciplinary panel.

Chairwoman Winsome Levy said Mr Hyde’s fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his misconduct, and his involvement with the woman caused “actual harm” and was serious enough to merit him being struck off.

Ms Levy said Mr Hyde was struck off in the interests of patient protection and because he had undermined public confidence in the profession.

Mr Hyde, a mental health nurse since 2001, was said to have conducted an inappropriate relationship with the woman between April and August 2008 which included a sexual relationship.

Soon after Mr Hyde stopped treating the woman, they made contact on Facebook and later went to a pub and met at the Glastonbury and Summer Solstice festivals.

Mr Hyde, 40, who worked as a community psychiatric nurse at the Wells Community Health Team and Glastonbury Health Centre, in Somerset, also watched a video at the woman’s house.

Psychiatrist Dr Muriel Churchill, who treated the woman following the relationship with Mr Hyde, said she was vulnerable with a long history of self harm and told the hearing: “I feel Mr Hyde had abused his position and broke the trust he should have had with his patient.”

Mr Hyde will have 28 days to appeal.

The panel made an 18-month interim order to prevent Mr Hyde from practising during that period and in the event of an appeal.