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The panel decided to make a suspension order for a period of 12 months.
The NMC’s representative invited the panel to consider a striking-off order in this case due to the seriousness of the misconduct and the lack of any evidence of any real insight or remediation.
Nurse A’s representative invited the panel to impose a suspension order in this case.
The panel took into account the following aggravating features:
- Nurse A was in a position of trust;
- Their misconduct was deliberate and premeditated with the intention to mislead their employer;
- Person E was vulnerable;
- There were attitudinal concerns;
- Nurse A demonstrated limited insight.
The panel also took into account the following mitigating features:
- A number of positive testimonials provided on Nurse A’s behalf which attest to good practice, honesty and integrity;
- They had a previous unblemished career;
- They were working well with no further concerns;
- This was a single incident.
The panel first considered whether to take no action but concluded that this would be inappropriate in view of the seriousness of the case.
It then considered the imposition of a caution order but again determined that, an order that does not restrict their practice would not be appropriate in the circumstances.
The panel next concluded that the public interest concerns relating to upholding the reputation of the profession could not be adequately addressed through a conditions of practice order.
The panel then went on to consider whether a suspension order would be an appropriate sanction. The panel decided that although there had been clear breaches of fundamental tenets of the nursing profession and breaches of the Code, it was satisfied that in this case, the misconduct was not fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register.
However, Nurse A’s dishonesty was serious and even the very positive references were not sufficient to persuade the panel that, balancing Nurse A’s interests with the public interest, any order below a suspension order was not the appropriate outcome in this case.
The panel did go on to consider whether a striking-off order would be proportionate, but the panel concluded that it would be disproportionate.
The panel determined that a suspension order for a period of 12 months was appropriate in this case to mark the seriousness of the misconduct and allow Nurse A time to reflect and develop insight into their actions.
The NMC’s representative invited the panel to impose an interim suspension order for a period of 18 months. They submitted that this interim order was necessary on the grounds of public protection and was also in the public interest.
The panel was satisfied that an interim order was necessary for the protection of the public and was otherwise in the public interest.
The panel therefore imposed an interim suspension order for a period of 18 months.