Published by BBC NEWS - 4th July 2023
  • Published
Penelope Williams was struck off after a patient died with her in a car at Spire's Wrexham hospitalImage source, Richard Hoare/Geograph

A nurse has been sacked after a patient she has a secret relationship with died following a late night hospital car park meeting.

Penelope Williams didn’t call an ambulance after the man, known as Patient A, collapsed in January 2022.

He was found unresponsive with his trousers down and died of heart failure and chronic kidney disease.

Mrs Williams has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council for bringing the profession into disrepute.

The hearing was told the patient was found in the back of his own car at Wrexham’s Spire Hospital after the pair had met in the hospital’s car park.

The panel heard Mrs Williams, who worked as a general nurse on a renal unit, had met Patient A about a year before.

He had multiple health conditions, the hearing was told, and received treatment in the unit where Mrs Williams worked.

On the night, Mrs Williams had gone to the home of a colleague, before meeting with Patient A.

Just before midnight, her co-worker took a call from her.

She was “crying and distressed and asking for help”, the panel heard.

After telling them someone had died, Mrs Williams was advised to call an ambulance, but did not.

When the colleague arrived at the car park, they called 999 on finding Patient A partially clothed and unresponsive.

He was pronounced dead shortly after.

Mrs Williams initially told police and a paramedic she had gone to the car park after Patient A messaged her saying he was unwell.

The next day, she admitted to police they had been in a sexual relationship.

But in February, she denied this to health board officials.

She said they had sat in the back of his car for 30-45 minutes “just talking” before Patient A “started groaning and suddenly died”.

At a May disciplinary hearing, Mrs Williams admitted both the relationship and not calling an ambulance and was sacked.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council panel found failing to mention the relationship “put her own interests ahead of the wellbeing of Patient A”.

It said while Mrs Williams was remorseful, she had limited insight about the damage her relationship could cause to nursing’s reputation or its effect on public safety.

They found this amounted to serious misconduct and her fitness to practise was impaired.

Striking her from the nursing register, the panel concluded there were no mitigating features.

“Mrs Williams’ actions were significant departures from the standards expected of a registered nurse, and are fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the register,” it said.

“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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