A nurse began a sexual relationship with a psychiatric patient he was looking after.

Bryan Cranston was a nurse at an NHS-run mental health unit in Eastbourne District General Hospital when he started a sexual relationship with the woman, who was recovering from an illness.

Staff were told to not to encourage the woman – described as “vulnerable” – but despite this Cranston gave her his email address.

After she left the unit in April 2011 he exchanged “flirtatious” emails with her and began a sexual relationship in January last year a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing was told.

Cranston was found out after the woman’s family contacted Sussex Police and the NMC.

In her statement the woman told how they had spent hours in bed together.

Finding Cranston guilty of misconduct and banning him from working as a nurse ever again the NMC said: “Mr Cranston acted inappropriately towards a vulnerable service user and exploited his position of trust.

“He failed to maintain appropriate boundaries, including engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship. His actions could have been detrimental to her health.”

High standards

Helen Greatorex, the executive director of nursing and quality at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health services across the county, said: “We expect all our nurses to behave to the highest standard at all times.

“They look after our patients when they are at their most vulnerable.

“We took action against Bryan Cranston when his actions first came to light.

“We suspended him and referred him to the NMC because the allegations against him were so serious. He has not been able to work as a nurse since.”

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