Welsh Nurse in Sexual Relationship with Patient Struck Off for Failing to Call Emergency Services After He Died During Car Romp

Penelope Williams
Penelope Williams Twitter

An NHS nurse who was in a sexual relationship with a patient failed to call an ambulance when he died in the back of his car with his trousers down during a secret late night rendezvous, a disciplinary committee has heard.

Penelope Williams had been having a year-long affair with the dialysis patient when he suffered heart failure while they were together in a hospital car park.

Williams Asked Colleague for Help After Patient Died

Ms Williams, who had hidden the relationship from her managers, failed to call 999 and instead rang a colleague who turned up and performed CPR, the panel heard. Now, the nurse has been struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council who warned she had "brought the nursing profession into disrepute".

The panel heard Ms Williams started working for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales as a registered nurse in a renal haemodialysis unit in October 2019. Her patient – known only as Patient A – was one of the unit's regulars. Ms Williams and Patient A began a sexual relationship in January 2021 and she did not tell bosses about it, the panel was told.

In January of the following year, a colleague – known only as Colleague One – received a phone call from Ms Williams who was "crying and distressed" and asking for help because "someone had died", the committee heard. The colleague told her to call an ambulance, but Ms Williams failed to do so, the panel was told.

Patient was Found Dead with his Trousers Down

The colleague later arrived at the student nursing car park at Spire private hospital, in Wrexham, where she met Ms Williams and could see Patient A in the back of a car with his "trousers down", the committee was told.

The colleague went to check Patient A who was unresponsive, so she called 999 asking for police and ambulance before starting CPR, the panel heard. He died from "heart failure and chronic kidney disease triggered by a medical episode," the committee was told.

Williams Said the Patient 'Started Groaning and Suddenly Died'

Ms Williams initially told police Patient A had sent her a message on Facebook explaining he was unwell, and so she "came to meet him". But she later admitted she and Patient A were in a sexual relationship and said they had previously arranged to meet at the car park that evening, the panel heard.

During a formal meeting with managers, Ms Williams claimed that she met with Patient A and "sat in the back of his car for about 30-45 minutes just talking".

"Mrs Williams denied any sexual relationship. She further explained that Patient A started groaning and suddenly died," the committee said.

The health board carried out a disciplinary hearing in May 2022 and Ms Williams admitted to having an intimate relationship with Patient A which she did not disclose to her employer. The Health Board panel expressed concern that "Mrs Williams did not call an ambulance following Patient A's collapse even when Colleague One advised her to" and fired her.

The committee concluded that the nurse's behaviour breached guidance on clear sexual boundaries, and struck her off from the register. The panel said: "Mrs Williams has acted to put patients at risk of harm by failing to contact emergency services when the patient became unwell and when prompted by her colleague.

"Mrs Williams has brought the nursing profession into disrepute and breached one of the fundamental tenets of the profession by engaging in an intimate relationship with a patient in breach of guidance on clear sexual boundaries."