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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 11:21 GMT
'Frozen trout' nurse struck off
Lesley Pitchers
Nurse Lesley Pitchers told the hearing she was hit with the trout
A nurse who hit a colleague with a frozen trout during a series of comedy antics at a Kent hospital has been struck off the nursing register.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council found Patricia Jennings, 55, guilty on Friday of four charges of misconduct.

They included inappropriate sexual behaviour with fellow workers and failing to assist in emergencies.

Ward manager Jennings had denied the incidents at the Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells in 2003.

'Unprofessional and humiliating'

The hearing, in London, was told Jennings, of Tunbridge Wells, has now left the UK.

She was not represented at the hearing and was struck off in her absence.

Angela O'Connor, chair of the professional conduct committee, said: "She pursued a course of conduct that was unprofessional and humiliating to those who were exposed."

Striking her off to protect the public, Ms O'Connor said Jennings had been "unable or unwilling to assess the adverse impact of her behaviour".

Among other things, she was said to have misrepresented the availability of beds on her ward and instructed colleagues to participate in the dishonesty.

"Rather than working collaboratively with other healthcare staff, she was deliberately obstructive," said Ms O'Connor.

Gift to staff

"This compromised the dignity and safety of patients and the integrity of her colleagues."

Nurse Lesley Pitchers had told the hearing she was slapped in the face with the fish after a patient brought several of them into the hospital as a gift to staff.

Jennings then said "give us a kiss" while moving the fish's mouth, the hearing was told.

The hearing also heard Jennings behaved inappropriately with other female colleagues and one male nurse.

The sexual harassment was said to have included reaching inside their uniforms, asking questions about their private lives, and putting sweet wrappers down a nurse's top.


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