Blackpool nurse given caution order after texting and gifting alcohol to a patient

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A nurse breached professional boundaries by texting a patient and gifting them food and alcohol.

Lynette Ivison was absent for a Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) hearing into her conduct this month.

The charges arose whilst Miss Ivison was employed at Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust, in the Community Heart Failure Team from September 2015. Miss Ivison was responsible for managing a caseload of patients, who they would review and assess to provide specialist heart failure care as required.

What were the charges?

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The panel heard that Miss Ivison failed to maintain professional boundaries by: a) giving Patient A her personal mobile phone number on or around 19 February 2018. b) sending text messages of a personal and/or unprofessional nature from her personal mobile phone to Patient A on numerous occasions between July 1, 2021 and February 22, 2022. c) Delivering gifts of food and alcohol to Patient A on one or more occasions.

All of the charges above were proved. A further charge that she visited one or more of the patients when such visits were not clinically justified and/or were contrary to infection control guidance at that time were not proved.

The NMC, represented by Ben Edwards, said Miss Ivion’s actions amounted to breaches of the Code and fell short of the standards expected of a registered nurse. Mr Edwards submitted that whilst there is evidence of unprofessional relationship via the use of mobile phone, there is no suggestion of inappropriate activity with Patient A.

Blackpool Victoria HospitalBlackpool Victoria Hospital
Blackpool Victoria Hospital | National World

What did the panel say?

A panel made up of three NMC members found that the charges found proved amounted to misconduct. A report states: “The panel was of the view that Miss Ivison’s actions in sending text messages from her personal mobile phone to Patient A on numerous occasions was of an unprofessional nature. Further, delivering gifts of food and alcohol to Patient A on one or more occasions is a serious breach of the relevant standards of conduct and falls far below what the public would expect of a registered nurse. The panel also noted that this behaviour had continued for a long period of time.” The panel did also note that although this impacted on a former patient, there was no clinical harm caused, nor any defects in Miss Ivison’s clinical practice. There was no evidence of Miss Ivison acting in a predatory manner. The report adds: “The panel found that Miss Ivison did not abuse her professional position in relation to Patient A’s vulnerability, but at a difficult time in her personal life she blurred her professional role in respect of Patient A, who she later considered a friend.”

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Remorse The panel noted that Miss Ivison had shown remorse about the incident and how it had impacted on her life. The panel noted that since the incident, no concerns have been raised and that this can be regarded as an incident isolated to one patient.


The panel considered this case “very carefully” and decided to make a caution order for a period of two years. The effect of this order is that Miss Ivison’s name on the NMC register will show that she is subject to a caution order and anyone who enquires about her registration will be informed of this order.

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