A health worker has been suspended after telling a colleague: “Women should stick to what they know best – cooking, cleaning and bringing up children".

Martin Swain also made other offensive comments to staff and patients, including asking a Moroccan woman if she owned a camel, an independent regulator ruled.

Swain, an operating department practitioner, told a female colleague she “should stick to childcare” and that jobs like his “were best left to men”.

He asked a prisoner under guard where he had hidden the money and made comments about “shoddy” building work by eastern Europeans.

He also failed to perform safety checks while working for East Sussex Community Health Services at Lewes Victoria Hospital, a panel of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) conduct and competence committee said.

The panel was told Swain “compromised patient safety” by refusing to carry out consent checks to verify that the correct patient was present, the correct procedure was about to be performed and that any known allergies were identified in advance.

Panel chairman Colin Allies said: “In the panel’s assessment, the established facts and misconduct are serious, involving offensive, inappropriate, discriminatory language and a disregard for safety-based procedures and practices.

“There is no evidence of any insight having been developed as the registrant’s statement attempted to justify his actions by seeking to blame others.”

The panel suspended Swain, who was not present or represented at the hearing, from the HCPC register for one year, with an interim suspension order put in place to cover the appeal period.

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