A PRISON nurse who had an affair with a female inmate has been struck off.
Hartlepool nurse Geoffrey Lodge began a relationship with the woman, known only as Prisoner X, when he was based at Low Newton maximum security prison, near Durham.
Lodge, who is separated from his wife, spent a night at a hotel with the prisoner, also from the town, during a period of release from her sentence and later gave her cash to spend in prison.
He was booted out of the profession after the Nursing and Midwifery Council found Lodge’s relationship with the prisoner and their night together amounted to misconduct.
Panel chairman Alexander Coleman said: “Mr Lodge’s conduct was not a single or isolated incident – his misconduct took place over a long period of time.
“Namely, the dishonesty which ensued to maintain the secrecy of the relationship.
“His continuing of the relationship without regard that he could foreseeable cause harm to her, struck at the very core of nursing values.
“The panel considers that striking off is the only sanction which will be sufficient to protect the patients’ and the public’s interest in the profession.”
The patient was described as vulnerable and with mental health problems.
Lodge continued the relationship after he left the prison and the panel said he abused his position of trust and power.
He met Prisoner X at a hotel in December 2009, but denied they had a sexual relationship saying they were close and he felt sorry for her.
Lodge confessed to the relationship after being told his phone calls had been monitored by the prison.
Lodge said: “I was worried that I wouldn’t be allowed to work as a nurse anymore – it was my worst nightmare.”
He admitted having an inappropriate relationship with the inmate and failing to disclose details during an investigation, but denied his fitness to practise had been impaired.
Lodge, was sacked by Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust for gross misconduct in May 2011 for the incident, and is now permanently banned from the profession.
He has 28 days to appeal the decision.