NHS employee suspended for threatening to kill Jeremy Hunt

NHS employee suspended for sending threatening tweets to Jeremy Hunt

Threatening tweets were sent to Jeremy Hunt

Friday, March 3, 2017

An NHS employee who tweeted threatening messages to health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been suspended from the profession for 13 months. 

Steven Knowles was working as an operating department practitioner (ODP) when he made a series of tweets described by the hearing panel as "threatening" and "extremely offensive".

In 2014 he wrote: "are you so retarded you allow this to happen! I will gladly put a bullet through your head!" Another tweet read: "Hunt you are a murderer and I would gladly blow your brains out."

Knowles also said "dear Santa, please could you inflict some health problem on the Hunt family, just so that they could wait more than 40 hours on a trolley."

The practitioner, who worked at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, Nottinghamshire, has said he will not appeal against his suspension.

The panel at the hearing said he "lacked a full appreciation of the wider impact of these threatening tweets on his intended target, his colleagues and members of the public, or the wider effect of such misconduct on public confidence in the profession."

Before the judgment was made, Knowles said that though there were no formal restrictions made on his ability to work in the healthcare profession, employers had not been willing to take him on.

He said: "I have declared openly and honestly that I have had a pending hearing and then they will drop me like a stone.

"I have been an ODP for over 30 years, it took over my life. I want to go back to a job that I love and provide a service that I was proud of."

Since the incident Knowles has deleted his Twitter account and taken a course of 12 counseling sessions.