'My little Tinkerbell': hearing told how nursing professor Sir George Castledine began 'sexually motivated' relationship with 83-year-old patient


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The Independent Online

One of Britain's most eminent professors of nursing declared his love to an 83-year-old patient who he nicknamed “my little Tinkerbell”, a conduct hearing has been told.

Sir George Castledine, knighted for services to healthcare, allegedly began a “sexually motivated” relationship with the woman when she came to him for bereavement counselling after her husband died.

He lavished gifts on the vulnerable woman, visited her home late at night and referred to her as his “lover”, a panel was told.

Sir George accompanied the woman, referred to only as Patient A, on a trip to Wales and on one occasion told her he had to go to the gym or he “wouldn't be able to make love” to her, it was alleged.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was presented with a series of misconduct allegations against Sir George, dating to early 2009 when he was chief executive of the Institute of Ageing and Health for the West Midlands.

He was knighted by the Queen in 2007.

He could now be struck off for what is claimed to have been a “financially motivated” relationship with his patient.

Sir George appeared to listen intently as the case against him was opened at a hearing in central London.

He is said to have embarked on an inappropriate relationship with Patient A following the bereavement counselling between February and October 2009 despite lacking sufficient qualifications to conduct the sessions.

During this time he “failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries”, arriving at her home late at night and presenting her with a CD player and flowers, the hearing was told.

In return, he accepted gifts of aftershave and enjoyed meals at her home.

He accompanied the woman, whom he allegedly referred to as “Tinkerbell” and “darling”, to the opening of her daughter's hairdressing salon in 2009 and later joined her for the trip to Wales in 2010, the panel heard.

Branding himself her “shadow”, he told her: “I love you” and “I miss you”, it was alleged.

Further charges against him accuse Sir George of asking Patient A's son to sign a “do not resuscitate” form in November 2009 while informing the woman herself that the document offered the opposite instruction. His alleged reasons for doing so have not been disclosed.

Sir George was ordered to end contact with Patient A in September 2010 but he ignored this, the hearing was told.

The NMC panel will have to consider whether his fitness to practice is impaired by reason of misconduct.

Sir George is denying 11 of the 12 allegations.

The case is continuing.