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Nurse struck off after man dies following hospital liaison

04 Jul 2023 3 minute read
Wrexham’s Spire Hospital. Photo via Google

A nurse has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after a man she was having a secret relationship with died while in his car with her.

A hearing was told Penelope Williams ignored advice to call an ambulance following the man’s collapse in the vehicle at Wrexham’s Spire Hospital in January 2022.

The death of the man, known only as Patient A, was listed as “heart failure and chronic kidney disease triggered by a medical episode”.

A fitness to practise panel was told Patient A received regular treatment at the Betsi Cadwaladr health board, where Mrs Williams worked as a general nurse on a renal unit.

On the night of Patient A’s death, Mrs Williams went to the home of one of her colleagues (Colleague 1) before meeting with him.

Just before midnight, the panel heard Colleague 1 received a phone call from Mrs Williams, who was “crying and distressed and asking for help as she tried to explain that someone had died”.

Colleague 1 advised Mrs Williams to call an ambulance.


Upon meeting Mrs Williams in the car park of the hospital, Colleague 1 found Patient A partially clothed and unresponsive.

They then called 999 and asked for the police and ambulance, which Mrs Williams had not done.

Patient A was pronounced dead shortly after.

Mrs Williams initially told police and a paramedic in attendance that she had gone to the scene to meet Patient A after he messaged her on Facebook that he was unwell.

In a later statement to police, she admitted that the pair were in a sexual relationship and had previously arranged to meet at the car park that evening.

But she denied this in a formal meeting with the Health Board in February, explaining that “she met with Patient A and sat at the back of his car for about 30-45 minutes just talking”, before he started groaning and suddenly died.

At a local disciplinary hearing with the Health Board in May, Mrs Williams admitted to the relationship and not calling an ambulance even after being advised to.

She was dismissed from her job with “immediate effect”.

The NMC panel determined Mrs Williams’ failure to disclose the relationship, and her limited insight about the damage her relationship could cause to nursing’s reputation or its effect on public safety, amounted to serious misconduct.

Mrs Williams was ultimately struck off for bringing the profession into disrepute, with the panel concluding: “Mrs Williams’ actions were significant departures from the standards expected of a registered nurse, and are fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the register.

“The panel was of the view that the findings in this particular case demonstrate that Mrs Williams’ actions were so serious that to allow her to continue practising would undermine public confidence in the profession and in the NMC as a regulatory body.”

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