Former King’s Mill hospital worker who made hate tweets to Jeremy Hunt is suspended for 12 months

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A former King’s Mill hospital worker who tweeted Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that he would “gladly put a bullet through your head” has been suspended for 12 months for misconduct.

Steven Knowles was working at Kings Mill Hospital, Mansfield, as an operating department practitioner when he sent six “extremely offensive” tweets.

Mr Knowles appeared before the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Conduct and Competence Committee in London.

On December 17 2014 he tweeted the Mansfield Chad: “You as a local paper are totally oblivious to the fact that your hospital is (if not already) near the brink of total melt down!”

The same day he tweeted: “Staffing levels are so low that it’s effecting staff health! Some staff are doing in some cases 24 hours! I hope you really suffer Hunt!”

The next day he posted: “Hunt are you so retarded you allow this to happen! I will gladly put a bullet through your head!” . Mr Knowles claimed that was a retweet.

Also on 18 December, he tweeted: “Hunt you are a murderer and I would gladly blow your brains out”..

On 20 December he posted: “Dear Santa, please could you inflict some health problem on the HUNT family, just so that they could wait MORE THAN 4H0URS ON A TROLLEY” .

The last tweet was on 6 January 2015 when he tweeted: “Why is Kings Mill Hospital on black alert?”

The tweet was made around the time of Black Alert at King’s Mill which is issued by medical bosses when the system is at breaking point.

The committee has concluded that Mr Knowles should be suspended from its register for 12 months.

Mr Knowles had worked in the health service for 30 years until he resigned in April 2015. He is now working as a lorry driver.

He had been at Kings Mill Hospital since 2005.

anel chair Nicola Bastin said: “The aggravating feature is the extremely offensive nature of the six tweets that were sent. Mr Knowles lacked a full appreciation of the wider impact of these threatening tweets on his intended target, his colleagues and members of the public, or the wider effect of such misconduct on public confidence in the profession.”

The panel heard that it was a course of conduct that was wholly out of character that the Registrant now profoundly regrets.

He expressed his shame and remorse in a detailed written submission that he put before the Panel and has deleted his Twitter account,

Panel chair Nicola Bastin said: “The aggravating feature is the extremely offensive nature of the six tweets that were sent.

Mr Knowles lacked a full appreciation of the wider impact of these threatening tweets on his intended target, his colleagues and members of the public, or the wider effect of such misconduct on public confidence in the profession.”