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Plymouth nurse punted panties on eBay

'Naughty knicks' fingered by NHS IT security team

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A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing yesterday considered the case of a Plymouth nurse who punted clean and soiled underwear on eBay while on duty at the city's Derriford Hospital, the local Herald reports.

Sheena McMillan, 24, in April 2007 set up a listing entitled 'naughty knicks' with the username Sheena66c. It read: "Hi there, the options are for you to own clean knickers £20, worn knickers £23 and for those smelling of sex, i.e. just worn after sex £25. Happy bidding."

McMillan used her work email account to administer the auction, and the text of the listing triggered the NHS Trust's alert system which notified admins of a breach of the trust's policy of "not sending racist or obscene material". Hospital IT security operatives probed her inbox and found the original eBay listing.

Sarah Page, for the NMC, told the hearing: "The email had a subject heading 'naughty knicks' and referred to the sale by Ms McMillan of her clean and worn underwear. There were more inappropriate messages. A number of eBay users negotiating for the sale of those items and also an email from eBay withdrawing the items as it breached their policy as well.

"Clearly Ms McMillan was using her work email address, one that was part of the Trust’s network. Her title was also included as part of the address, so it was evident that she was a staff nurse working at the hospital."

McMillan, who was not present or represented at the hearing, has admitted that she "used her work e-mail address to advertise items of a sexual nature for sale on eBay" and to "sending and receiving sexually explicit e-mails on her work address relating to the sale of sexually explicit items on eBay".

She denied, however, that her "fitness to practice is impaired".

McMillan's fate was not decided yesterday, since panel chair Mary Elliot agreed to halt the hearing after learning of her "serious, unresolved health issues" dating back to April 2007.

Elliot said: "Having heard the facts, which clearly have the potential to bring the nursing profession into disrepute, we nevertheless feel in the interests of justice and fairness a striking off order would not be proportionate in this case. We consider that the health issues disclosed in this case merit further investigation and an up to date report, to which we expect the registrant to consent, is necessary for a full and fair determination of this case."

She concluded: "We are therefore of the opinion that this case would be better dealt with by the health committee, in the knowledge that should the health committee conclude that we are wrong about the health issues, that committee can transfer the case back to this committee for a resumed hearing." ®

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