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Relief at nurse ruling

A primary school head has spoken of her relief after a male nurse who hugged and tickled pupils at her school was struck off the nursing register.

Richard Davies was found guilty of misconduct by the Nursing and Midwifery Council at a hearing in Cardiff this week. The council said Mr Davies had engaged in "inappropriate physical contact" with male pupils at Blaencaerau junior school, near Bridgend.

The council's professional misconduct committee was told that while working at the school between September 2001 and March 2002, Mr Davies had:

* held a pupil's head in his lap while the child was kneeling between the nurse's legs;

* tickled another pupil while sitting on a classroom floor, and bent over and hugged the same child from behind;

* spoken inappropriately to children by saying: "I have got a secret and we are not going to tell anyone, including Miss Jones";

* sat astride another pupil while he was lying on his back in the school yard.

Sharon Bevan, Blaencaerau's head, said: "The past three years have been a nightmare. I took on Mr Davies in good faith through a scheme called On Track which was in its infancy at the time. Pupil protection is a priority and I took early action to bring his behaviour under scrutiny."

Ms Bevan said she has since taken on more school nurses through On Track and was satisfied with them. But she now ensures checks are made and job descriptions made clear.

Mr Davies, 39, of Cimla, Neath, south Wales, was employed by Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust. No one was available from the trust to comment on the case.

After the hearing, NMC spokesperson Craig Turton said: "Although the committee was satisfied there was no sexual motivation for Mr Davies's behaviour, it was open to interpretation."

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