A HOSPITAL where a pervert nurse touched up his patients has put steps in place to protect others.
Gavin Nicholson was jailed for eight years this week, after being found guilty of groping patients as they recovered from surgery at the private Spire Washington Hospital in 2008.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 58-year-old touched the women while they were conscious, but recovering from anaesthetic after operations.
He was convicted of sexual assaults in relation to three and was cleared of a further two charges.
The former RAF policeman, of West Avenue, Harraton, was dismissed from his role as a nurse at the hospital as soon as the allegations were made.
Bosses today revealed that since the shocking assaults, they have introduced stringent measures to ensure it does not take place again.
A spokeswoman said: “The team at Spire Washington Hospital was deeply concerned and shocked by the events at the hospital, and our thoughts and sympathies go out to each of the patients and their families and friends who were involved in this court case.
“Our primary concern is always the welfare and safety of our patients and staff.
“We take this responsibility very seriously and set extremely high standards across every aspect of our business, particularly in the treatment of vulnerable persons.
“Action is taken swiftly if we suspect these standards have not been met.
“In this particular case, independently of any legal or police action, when the allegations were first brought to our attention we dismissed Gavin Nicholson.
“We have also introduced a new hospital policy, beyond what healthcare regulators require, to ensure that female patients in recovery are always chaperoned by a female staff member.”
During the three-week trial, Nicholson’s victims relived their horror, describing how the attacks had left them traumatised.
The hospital today praised the women.
The spokeswoman said: “We would like to acknowledge the bravery of the patients and our hospital staff who gave evidence at the trials.
“We are glad the case is now at a close. It has been a very difficult time for everybody involved.”