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Nurse Suspended for ‘Campaign Targeted at Pursuing a Sexual Relationship’

Published on: 9 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 11 Feb, 2022

Sunrise Senior Living home in Guildford Photo – Google

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

A nurse who made his female colleague feel scared to come into work with “a campaign targeted at pursuing a sexual relationship” with her has been suspended.

Alexandru-Nicolae Calota has been handed a six-month suspension order as a nurse at the Sunrise Senior Living home in Peasmarsh, Guildford, and admitted to being attracted to his 19-year-old colleague.

According to a report, he suggested she needed “more experience” and that they go on holiday to Vegas together where “no one would have to know what [they got] up to”.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing took place from January 17 to 24 which found his behaviour had escalated over the course of the two and a half months between May 2020, when the victim started working at the home, and July 2020.

A report into the hearing states that at the time of the events, he was a 31-year-old man, a registered nurse for five years, and had worked in the care home as a registered nurse for more than four years.

The victim, known as “Colleague 1” was a 19-year-old woman, without much workplace experience, who Calota would approach from behind and “touch her bottom, waist or stomach” – a charge that was found proved in the course of the hearing.

A statement from Colleague 1 in the documents said: “[His] actions did not cause any physical harm to me but his actions caused me emotional harm in that the registrant made me very uncomfortable and sometimes I was scared of going to work.

“The registrant made me very anxious, he also made me feel very sexually objectified.”

The issue came to light because when a new member of staff joined the home, she noticed how often he pinched her waist in a way that he didn’t seem to hide and which made her wonder if the pair were in a relationship.

But in her second week of working at the home and witnessing it, she asked the victim if they were in a relationship and was told “his touching made her uncomfortable and that it happened every shift”.

The home’s deputy manager investigated the complaint on behalf of the home and a referral was made to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The panel also heard that he would approach the victim from behind and press his body against hers, telling her she felt uncomfortable because she was shy and that she “just needed experience”.

The panel concluded: “The panel was satisfied that you pursued a campaign targeted at pursuing a sexual relationship with Colleague 1 because, by your own admission, you were attracted to her, and some of your actions have been found, for reasons set out below in relation to each charge, to have been done for your sexual gratification.

“The panel was satisfied that your behaviour escalated over the course of the two and a half months between May 2020 and July 2020.”

A six-month suspension order was decided by the panel, while he has already been suspended by the NMC on an interim basis for a period of 17 months.

The report noted that he had tried to find work as a carer but had been turned down because of the hearing and allegations.

It was stated that during the 17 months of the interim suspension he had undertaken reading and training on sexual behaviour and boundaries and understood what he did was “totally unprofessional”.

At the end of the period of suspension, another panel will review the and may revoke the suspension order, confirm the order, or replace it with another order. Colota has 28 days to appeal the decision.

Sunrise of Guildford was re-branded as Signature at Guildford in December 2021, when Signature Senior Lifestyle (Signature) acquired 20 Sunrise Senior Living UK and Gracewell Healthcare care homes in the UK.

A Signature Senior Lifestyle spokesperson said they were aware of the findings reported by the Nursing and Midwifery Council involving a former employee of Sunrise Senior Living and that the incident pre-dated Signature assuming management responsibility of the home.

They added: “We take any allegation of inappropriate behaviour by team members seriously and have a full safeguarding policy along with clear internal and external escalation processes in place.

“Colleagues are encouraged to utilise whistleblowing processes either to our senior management or to external regulatory bodies such as the Local Safeguarding Board and the CQC.”

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