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High-earning nurse convicted of sick pay fraud is spared jail

Band 8c nurse Sheila Loveridge gets 16-month suspended sentence for defrauding NHS of nearly £38,500

Band 8c nurse Sheila Loveridge gets 16-month suspended sentence for defrauding NHS of nearly 38,500

One of the highest earning nurses in England has been spared jail after defrauding the NHS of nearly 38,500 in sick pay while working as a consultant.

Band 8c infection prevention control inspector and nurse Sheila Loveridge of Brent, London, received 38,438.40 of sick pay from North East London Commissioning Support Unit between 25 October 2018 and 6 June 2019.

Ms Loveridge claimed she was unfit for work at this time due to back pain. However, an NHS England and NHS Improvement investigation, launched 31 May 2019, found she was doing undeclared consultancy work for a private

Band 8c nurse Sheila Loveridge gets 16-month suspended sentence for defrauding NHS of nearly £38,500

Nurse Sheila Loveridge received a 16-month suspended prison sentence at Southwark Crown Court, London
Nurse Sheila Loveridge received a 16-month suspended prison sentence at Southwark Crown Court Picture: Alamy

One of the highest earning nurses in England has been spared jail after defrauding the NHS of nearly £38,500 in sick pay while working as a consultant.

Band 8c infection prevention control inspector and nurse Sheila Loveridge of Brent, London, received £38,438.40 of sick pay from North East London Commissioning Support Unit between 25 October 2018 and 6 June 2019.

Ms Loveridge claimed she was unfit for work at this time due to back pain. However, an NHS England and NHS Improvement investigation, launched 31 May 2019, found she was doing undeclared consultancy work for a private health provider during this period.

Nurse pleaded guilty and voluntarily paid money back

Ms Loveridge, who has been a registered nurse for 27 years, resigned from her NHS job during the investigation. She received a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years at Southwark Crown Court on 15 June and was also ordered to pay a £500 fine and £425 in costs.

Ms Loveridge pleaded guilty to fraud by failure to disclose at Westminster Magistrate’s Court on 27 April before the case was sent to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing. She has voluntarily paid back the £38,438.40 to the NHS and has been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

NHS England and NHS Improvement counter fraud specialist London lead Richeall Whelan said the sentencing sent a clear message that fraud would not be tolerated: ‘NHS England and NHS Improvement are very pleased to have put a stop to the criminal activities of Sheila Loveridge.

‘Precious NHS funds are sorely needed for their intended purpose, the care of patients and suitable criminal, civil and disciplinary sanctions will always be pursued when appropriate.’

From November 2020, Ms Loveridge was working for Médecins Sans Frontières Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, on a 12-month fixed-term contract as an infection prevention and control adviser. She resigned from this role on 18 June.

Internal investigation started as soon as there was awareness of potential fraud

A nurse at the bottom of band 8c on Agenda for Change in England earns at least £63,751, but this does not include London weighting.

A North East London Commissioning Support Unit spokesperson said: ‘We take any allegations of fraud extremely seriously, and as soon as we became aware of this matter, an internal investigation was started.’

If nurses have suspicions that fraud has been committed in the NHS in England and Wales, they are advised to contact NHS Counter Fraud Authority online or call 0800 028 4060.


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