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Registration process is more robust since Victorino Chua came to the UK, says NMC

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has changed its registration process significantly to prevent foreign nurses entering the UK with fake qualifications

The nursing regulator has confirmed it has strengthened its registration process since Filipino nurse Victorino Chua, who was yesterday found guilty of murdering two patients and poisoning 20 others, came to the UK.

Yesterday at Manchester Crown Court, Mr Chua was found guilty of murdering two patients at Stockport's Stepping Hill Hospital and poisoning others by injecting insulin into saline bags and ampoules.

Investigations into the nurse’s background suggest Mr Chua may have used false nursing qualifications to find work in Britain as a nurse. Following Mr Chua’s arrest, a team of detectives from Greater Manchester Police flew to Mr Chua’s native Philippines where they established he had left one hospital after being caught stealing. A Greater Manchester Police statement says: ‘They also visited the now defunct Galang training college where he claimed to have obtained his medical qualifications. As a result of investigations conducted, serious doubt has been cast relating to the authenticity of them.’

A Nursing and Midwifery Council spokesperson said: ‘When Mr Chua joined the register in 2002, our registration process allowed applicants to provide photocopies of documentation. We recognise that this was far from ideal, and we have strengthened our processes significantly since then. We now require original documentation, and applicants must undergo a face-to-face interview and a two-stage test of competence. We understand that Greater Manchester Police have concerns about Mr Chua's qualifications, but we have not been shown evidence that his documents were fraudulent.’

Judith Morris, director of nursing and midwifery at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Stepping Hill Hospital, said the security systems and processes in place at the time were typical of those in other hospitals across the country.

She added: ‘Our recruitment process is in line with NHS policy. It included checking Mr Chua was registered to practise with the NMC, a formal interview, two references, a CRB check (now disclosure and barring service check), checking his passport and birth certificate as supporting ID and an occupational health clearance.’

 

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