An NHS worker who tweeted that he was going to shave a patient’s pubic hairs and stick them to his face “Wiggins style” is up before a professional standards board.
The Health and Care Professions Council started a disciplinary hearing examining Paul Nam’s “fitness to practice” today.
While working as an operating department practitioner at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust last year, he posted several tweets from an account under the pseudonym “Sir Cockhardt” that breached conduct and confidentiality rules, the committee heard.
The first read: “I was going to save the pubes from the first patient I shaved today and stick them on Wiggins style.”
Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins is renowned for his large and bushy sideburns, which have even inspired fancy dress items.
In a tweet on 9 August, Nam wrote: “Working in gynae[cological] theatres AGAIN today. I'm seriously considering going gay! The thought of looking at one more aged flange.“
The hearing heard he called the trust board and executive team a “bunch of vandals”, and the chief executive “a complete *******” when he posted a picture on the social networking site.
One surgeon was called “Mr Vagina-rage” and “a bell end”.
Nam was suspended in September 2012 after another member of operating theatre staff raised the alarm.
He is also being investigated for confidentiality breaches when he posted a photo of an ambulance delivering patients to A&E and another showing a theatre list complete with surgeons’ names and procedures.
Nam, who was present for the hearing in central London, has admitted posting the tweets and further misconduct.
He told the panel he felt “embarrassed and ashamed” over the tweets, calling his actions “incredibly stupid”.
He said Twitter was a way of “blowing off steam” about concerns at work and that both tweets about the gynaecological theatres and creating Wiggins sideburns had been meant as humour.
His lawyer, Lee Gledhill, has told the panel hearing the allegations that it is up to them to decide whether his misconduct amounts to his fitness to practise being impaired.
Elena Elia, for the HCPC, said Nam had accepted that he had posted the tweets and apologised for them in a letter he sent once an internal investigation was underway.
He attributed his behaviour to ”frustration for my own predicament“ including his ”limited career progression" at the trust.
In relation to the Wiggins tweet, she said Nam told her: ”There was no actual patient, it was just a joke around Wiggins' sideburns.”
The hearing continues.
Additional reporting by Press Association