Sherwood Forest Hospitals consultant suspended by tribunal after he made nurse watch a video of him wearing just a football scarf
A semi-retired former hospital consultant has been suspended after he made a female colleague watch a video of him with just a football scarf covering his genitals.
Dr Vibert Noble had been working on a part-time basis for Sherwood Forest Hospitals – which runs King’s Mill and Mansfield Community hospitals – at the time of the incident in November 2018, a hearing of the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service was told.
The consultant paediatrician had retired from the trust in 2014 after joining in 1996 but had returned on a part-time basis shortly afterwards.
He had turned up at the office of the nurse and made her watch the video of him acting in a sexual manner – while he made her wear a similar scarf around her neck, it had earlier been alleged.
The hearing had previously heard that he had told the woman that the ‘scarf was very special and important to him’ and that it had been in ‘lots of special places’.
Elizabeth Dudley-Jones, representing the General Medical Council at the week-long hearing in Manchester, submitted that Dr Noble’s conduct towards the woman – referred to only as Nurse A – amounted to an impairment to his ability to practice medicine and was a serious misconduct.
A summary of proceedings issued after the tribunal concluded, states: “Ms Dudley-Jones submitted that it was relevant that Nurse A, following the event, had no longer felt safe at work, had moved offices and had sought and received counselling.
“Ms Dudley-Jones noted the tribunal’s finding that Dr Noble’s intention, in making Nurse A wear a scarf, was to make a connection in her mind between the scarf she was wearing and the video scarf.
“Ms Dudley-Jones stated that the tribunal had found that feature of this case to be troubling.
“In addition, she submitted that Dr Noble’s misconduct was particularly serious given that the index event occurred on a paediatric ward. She submitted that the tribunal should take account of the relative status and clinical experience of both Nurse A and Dr Noble, who was the trust’s safeguarding lead.
“She submitted that, in behaving as he did, Dr Noble had undermined patient and public trust in the medical profession.
“The incident had had long-term ramifications for Nurse A who told the tribunal she felt ‘violated’ and ‘emotionally abused’.
Representing Dr Noble at the hearing, Andrew Hockton said that his client had made the video as a joke and another colleague he had shown it to took it in that spirit.
The summary states: “Mr Hockton submitted that Dr Noble has always accepted that he acted inappropriately in creating the video and causing Nurse A to watch it.
“He argued that Dr Noble accepts the criticisms made of him and accepts that his actions fell short of appropriate standards.
“Mr Hockton reminded the tribunal that Dr Noble had not repeated his conduct, had made early and broad admissions and that he had apologised to Nurse A on more than one occasion. The facts of this case involve a single, isolated incident in Dr Noble’s otherwise unblemished career of 40 years.”
The tribunal concluded his behaviour amounted to misconduct and he was suspended from practising for a total of four months.