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Nurse convicted of defrauding NHS concedes ‘impact on image of nursing’

NMC panel suspends nurse who claimed £20,000 in sick pay while also working for an agency

NMC panel suspends nurse who claimed £20,000 in sick pay while also working for an agency


Disciplinary action by regulators ‘can act as a deterrent to those considering committing
fraud’, the NHS Counter Fraud Authority said. Picture: Charles Milligan

A nurse who defrauded the NHS out of more than £20,000 has acknowledged the impact of his actions ‘on the image of the nursing profession’.

During a Fitness to Practise (FtP) hearing earlier this month, mental health nurse Qhelani Ncube admitted to working for a healthcare recruitment agency for 14 months while receiving sick pay from his employer, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Suspended sentence

Nursing and Midwifery Council documentation states that as a result of the fraud Mr Ncube received £20,619 in sick pay from the trust to which he was not entitled.

He was convicted of fraud in February this year and given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, with a requirement to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work.

In a reflective statement submitted to the nursing regulator, Mr Ncube said he was ‘fully conscious’ of the impact of his actions on the public perception of nurses.

‘Nurses, regardless of circumstance or difficulties, are supposed to be honest and I was not,’ he said.

‘Unlawfully deprived NHS of resources’

He added that he was aware of the resources spent to cover his fraudulent absence, with his colleagues having worked ‘tirelessly’ to cover his shifts.

‘At a time when the NHS is struggling financially it saddens me to know that I have unlawfully deprived a fundamental organisation of resources that could have gone a long way in running its operations,’ he said.

The FtP panel noted that Mr Ncube had submitted positive testimonials claiming his dishonesty was ‘wholly out of character’ and that he is a dedicated and good nurse.

The hearing documents also reveal that the judge in Mr Ncube’s case accepted the nurse posed a low risk of reoffending and was of good character, and noted mitigation due to ‘extenuating personal circumstances which led him to commit the fraud’.

In its ruling, the FtP panel gave Mr Ncube a 12-month suspension with a review.

An 18-month interim suspension order was also applied to allow for the possibility of an appeal to be made and determined. If no appeal is made, the interim order will then be replaced by the suspension order.

An NHS Counter Fraud Authority spokesperson said disciplinary action by regulators ‘can act as a deterrent to those considering committing fraud’.


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