Nurse struck off for claiming band 7 rate for band 5 bank shifts

Ward manager who worked bank shifts at her NHS trust displayed ‘serious dishonesty’ – and investigator found the employer’s roster booking system was ‘a mess’

Ward manager who worked bank shifts at her NHS trust displayed ‘serious dishonesty’ – and investigator found the employer’s roster booking system was ‘a mess’

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A nurse has been struck off for claiming payments for bank shifts on a band higher than she had worked.

Savina Theeka worked band 5 bank shifts at North Middlesex University Hospital Trust in London between January 2018 and February 2019 but claimed payment at a band 7 rate. At the time, she was employed by the trust and was working on a secondment as ward manager on band 7.

The trust’s temporary staff policy at that time stated: ‘Shifts that are booked for a certain band (for instance, at band 5) will be paid at band 5, even if the person working the shifts is substantively on a higher band.’

Working bank shifts where you are also employed

The NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook, which sets out employment terms of NHS staff in the UK, states that work for a staff bank run by an employer should be treated as a separate contract for any additional payment.

If a nurse or other member of staff employed by an NHS organisation also undertakes bank shifts, those shifts are treated as separate to their permanent job, with pay and hours worked calculated separately.

It is best to check your employer’s policy for information on the pay band of bank shifts.

Source: NHS Employers

Bank 7 bank shifts would have been unusual, fitness to practise hearing told

A Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise (FtP) hearing held in December heard that during the period Ms Theeka worked bank shifts, most were advertised at band 5 and it would have been unusual for band 7 bank shifts to be advertised.

Ms Theeka told the panel she had been given authority to claim the shifts as a band 7 nurse, since she had been working at that level. She added it would have been recorded in the trust’s communications diary, but the trust was unable to provide this evidence.

NHS trust’s nursing roster booking system was ‘a mess’

Ms Theeka was referred to the NMC by a senior colleague in November 2019. An individual named as Witness 1 in the FtP report was brought in to investigate the allegation of misconduct.

In their statement, Witness 1 described the trust’s health roster booking system as a ‘mess’ that contained ‘administrative and systemic’ failings.

However, the FtP panel found that Ms Theeka had been inconsistent and contradictory in explaining why she claimed payment for the wrong band. Initially she told Witness 1 and the NMC she ‘had made a mistake. But later, the hearing report found she appeared to state she had received authorisation for each shift or that she had ‘general’ authority to work bank shifts at the band 7 rate.

NMC judged nurse’s dishonesty to be serious

The panel found that as a nurse acting as a band 7 practitioner in her employment, who would have to engage temporary staff for the ward she managed, she would have been aware of the trust’s bank shift policy.

The NMC found Ms Theeka’s actions were dishonest and serious in light of the financial gain.

Ms Theeka was struck off the register with an interim suspension order of 18 months to allow her to appeal.

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