Alicia Hing has avoided being struck off

Alicia Hing, an NHS therapist, has received a 12-month caution from the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) for violating professional boundaries. While working at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, she sent inappropriate messages to a vulnerable patient who had suffered life-changing spinal injuries.

Hing, who served as the patient’s occupational therapist, sent messages containing suggestive content and offered to send nude images of herself. The messages included pictures of her in gym wear, and she conditioned the sending of naked pictures on the patient’s display of enthusiasm.

The HCPTS found that Hing’s actions constituted a breach of the “fundamental tenets of the profession.” The inappropriate communication took place over four weeks, during which Hing also made derogatory remarks about another patient in text messages. According to Mirror

The patient disclosed the unwanted messages to a psychologist during an appointment in September 2019. Hing was subsequently suspended from the hospital in November 2019 and resigned before disciplinary proceedings concluded.

In her defense, Hing claimed that her messages were seeking validation rather than sexual gratification. She expressed regret for taking advantage of the patient’s vulnerability and acknowledged the misplaced nature of her actions.

The HCPTS panel determined that Hing’s conduct was sexually motivated, constituting misconduct and bringing the profession into disrepute. Despite the severity of the actions, she was spared a more severe sanction, including being struck off, due to her expression of “deep remorse.” The tribunal concluded that Hing had breached fundamental tenets of the profession and brought the profession into disrepute.

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