Colchester hospital: Bottom-slapping nurse suspended

Colchester Hospital
Image caption David Bullock began working for the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in 2000

A nurse who slapped the bottoms of five female co-workers and commented on one woman's "plump breasts" has been suspended for six months.

David Bullock, who worked at Colchester General Hospital, made his colleagues "dread coming into work", a misconduct hearing was told.

Mr Bullock was previously investigated over similar claims in 2016.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel said his behaviour was "offensive and derogatory to women".

Mr Bullock, who qualified as a mental health nurse in 1984 and went on to work in theatres, was accused of six charges of misconduct between 2015 and 2017.

One woman - referred to as Colleague A - said that as well as slapping her bottom, Mr Bullock had invaded her personal space, placed his hand on her thigh and talked about his sex life.

In a statement, she said his behaviour had made her feel "uncomfortable, anxious, tearful and distressed".


The hearing was told Mr Bullock accepted his conduct "fell seriously short" of the standards of behaviour expected from nurses.

At the time of the offences, he claimed he was "not in a good state of mind due to difficulties at home".

In a reflective statement given to the panel, Mr Bullock described his past conduct as "abhorrent, vile and disgusting".

He also told how he was a "very tactile person" but had tried to change his behaviour by going for counselling and attending workshops on professional boundaries.

The panel, chaired by Adrian Ward, noted that Mr Bullock had not been charged with sexually motivated behaviour.

It also said that although he had "brought the profession into disrepute", there was "no evidence" Mr Bullock had put patients at risk.

An 18-month interim suspension order will apply if he decides to appeal.

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