Cornwall care home matron 'showed underwear and sex toy'

A care home matron in Cornwall showed her underwear to staff and decided to "go fishing" instead of attend an end-of-life meeting, a tribunal has heard.

Sharon Talbot spoke about her sex life on "numerous occasions" in the presence of staff at the Asheborough House Care Centre in Saltash, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) heard.

Ms Talbot is also accused of taking a sex toy to work and showing it to the deputy matron.

She has denied all charges against her.

Ms Talbot, who worked at the home between May 2010 and December 2011, is also alleged to have referred to colleagues and the Care Quality Commission with inappropriate language.

Neil Jeffs, for the NMC, said deputy matron Helen Tolcher had resigned as a result of Ms Talbot's "unprofessional behaviour" and had subsequently written a letter to Caroline Murphy, the "responsible individual at the centre" outlining her concerns about Ms Talbot's behaviour.

A further letter, he said, from Ms Tolcher to Ms Murphy in December 2011, signed by 22 members of staff at the home, had outlined allegations against Ms Talbot.

"The letter... includes allegations of constant belittling of staff, staff feeling intimidated and undermined, professional opinions of staff being disregarded to suit the needs of the registrant, staff working under a threat of fear and reprisals, a fear of approaching the registrant for advice and support and the feeling that any grievances raised were perceived as a personal attack by the registrant," he said.

Ms Murphy interviewed 28 members of staff "all of which spoke about the registrant's unprofessional behaviour", he said.

"The matter did not proceed to a disciplinary hearing locally because the registrant tendered her resignation but was consequently referred to the NMC," Mr Jeffs said.

The tribunal continues.

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