Therapist struck off for relationship with patient

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An OCCUPATIONAL therapist from South Yorkshire who started a relationship with an autistic patient and carried out an ‘inappropriate examination’ on her has been struck off.

Teresa Hindley allowed a personal relationship to develop with the woman over two years, the Health Professions Council found.

Ms Hindley, who worked for Rotherham NHS, spent nights at the woman’s house, nights away with the woman and touched her genitals, the panel found.

Her actions left the woman feeling ‘concern, confusion and shame.’

But Ms Hindley was cleared of making lesbian advances towards the woman after the panel found that her actions were not sexually motivated.

Chairman Gordon Sutehal said: “Her motivation was a misplaced desire to support Patient A,

“The breaching of professional boundaries over a long period of time leading to a wholly inappropriate relationship is an extremely serious matter.

“This is a state of affairs that can only have arisen from a lack of judgement on the part of Ms Hindley, coupled with a significant lack of insight.”

He rejected Hindley’s defence she was manipulated by her patient.

The panel heard Ms Hindley was suspended from her job as a specialist occupational therapist employed by Rotherham NHS’s learning disability services.

She was interviewed by police over the allegations but charges were never brought.

Melinka Berridge, for the HPC, said Hindley had breached one of the most ‘fundamental tenets’ of her profession by allowing a personal and sexually-motivated relationship to develop with her patient.

Hindley failed to attend the hearing but was found guilty of conducting the examination and having an unprofessional relationship with Patient A.