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Nurse suspended for 'foul' Facebook messages

A children's hospice nurse has been suspended from her job for six months after writing a series of foul-mouthed messages on Facebook. 

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) told Allison Marie Hopton that her posts would “reflect badly on the profession”. 

In a response to the council Hopton said her comments had been irresponsible and stupid. 

Hopton was under the impression that her messages, such as “big bollocking sh****** bastard work tomorrow” and saying a student would have to become her “bitch” - would only be seen by her 380 friends.

However, her profile was accessible to other users of the social media website. 

Hopton's posts were shown to her managers by a former colleage. She had also posted a picture of a colleague sitting on a bed pan. 

An NMC statement said: "Mrs Hopton's profile page stated that she was a nurse at Ty Hafan. On her wall there were numerous comments and conversations posted by Mrs Hopton and her friends.

"All these comments were accessible to the public. Mrs Hopton used a number of profanities on her Facebook page and made direct and indirect references to the hospice.

"The panel was mindful of the vulnerable nature of those in her care and the sensitivity that would need to be applied to the families of patients at the hospice and the wider public.

"The guidance clearly states, 'presume that everything you post online will be public and will be shared.'"

"Her comments on Facebook had been wholly inappropriate and had undoubtedly called into question her judgment and integrity."

The NMC said the public rightly expected nurses to act in such a way as to "uphold public confidence in the profession".

However the panel said it would not be necessary to strike Hopton's name off the nursing register.