Nurse Says Patient 'Manipulated' Her into a Relationship; SHEMOVED MENTALLY-ILL MANINTO HERHOME

Article excerpt


A MARRIED psychiatric nurse struck up a relationship with a mentally ill man who had been in her care, before moving him into her home, a professional conduct hearing was told yesterday.

Juliet Francis-Ellis, a 49-yearold mental health nurse, told a committee she was "manipulated and blackmailed" by the patient to take care of him in her farmhouse in Mold, Flintshire.

The nurse, who worked for Pennine Care NHS Trust between March and October 2008, treated the 40-year-old patient for schizoaffective disorder before their relationship began.

Mrs Francis-Ellis claimed Patient A - a name used to protect his identity -was flirtatious with her during regular outpatient visits, but ignored the advances until she acted on them in late October 2008.

Patient A, who had long struggled with the disorder, an illness which often left him in states of heightened arousal and delusion, was particularly vulnerable to romantic advances, the hearing heard.

The mother of four told her manager about Patient A's behaviour, but ignored advice given to cut contact with him. She then met him several times at a pub after work, and again at his home, where he gave her a letter proclaiming his infatuation.

When it became apparent that an inappropriate relationship had developed, the trust removed Mrs Francis-Ellis from Patient A's case.

The nurse, who had become estranged from her husband who was living in Ireland, continued with the relationship and Patient A quickly moved in.

She said she was bullied by her patient into caring for him outside of work. "He told me everyone in his life had let him down, and I couldn't do that to him.

"He made be feel very manipulated and incredibly guilty." After three months at her rented farmhouse in Mold, Patient A then suffered a relapse and was admitted to hospital. …