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Nurse suspended for working 50 agency shifts while on sick leave

A nurse has been suspended from practice after working at least 500 hours in agency shifts while on paid sick leave.
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A nurse has been suspended from practice after working at least 500 hours in agency shifts while on paid sick leave.

Lindsay Kate Lord was also suspended from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register for bringing the profession into disrepute after being issued a criminal conviction for drink driving and a caution for harassment without violence.

When Ms Lord was caught working while claiming sick pay she failed to declare her dismissal by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust to Pulse Agency, for which she was working bank shifts.

She also did not tell Pulse she had a conviction for drinking with excess alcohol, an NMC hearing heard. Pulse’s policy requires that it is made aware of allegations of misconduct involving work or third parties.

Ms Lord, a band 5 nurse, also had a caution for harassment without violence

A nurse has been suspended from practice after working at least 500 hours in agency shifts while on paid sick leave.

NMC_hearing
Picture: Charles Milligan

Lindsay Kate Lord was also suspended from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register for bringing the profession into disrepute after being issued a criminal conviction for drink driving and a caution for harassment without violence.

When Ms Lord was caught working while claiming sick pay she failed to declare her dismissal by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust to Pulse Agency, for which she was working bank shifts.

She also did not tell Pulse she had a conviction for drinking with excess alcohol, an NMC hearing heard. Pulse’s policy requires that it is made aware of allegations of misconduct involving work or third parties.

Ms Lord, a band 5 nurse, also had a caution for harassment without violence in relation to her personal life. 

The NMC decided there were mitigating factors – it held part of the hearing on Ms Lord’s personal life and health in private – which means a striking-off order would not have been proportionate, and she had shown remediation and insight.

But it said the suspension order was necessary to ‘mark the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, and to send to the public and the profession a clear message about the standard of behaviour required of a registered nurse’.

Investigation

The NMC noted that her dishonesty had persisted for 18 months and was uncovered only after Ms Lord, then a nurse in the critical care unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital, had been spotted by a colleague working an agency shift at the Royal Bradford Infirmary.

This sparked a disciplinary investigation by her trust, according to the NMC conduct and competence committee hearing held on 27-28 July.

Ms Lord then admitted to working ten shifts (101.25 hours) between November 2013 and December 2014 while off sick or on a phased return to work, and 39 shifts (393 hours) while on long-term sick leave from January to July 2015.

But the NMC noted that ‘subsequent investigations showed the total number of shifts worked to be much higher’.

Appeal

While Ms Lord emailed the NMC following her conviction for drink driving in March 2016, she did not tell Pulse about it – or her dismissal for gross misconduct – and ‘deliberately tried to avoid Pulse finding out’.

The agency found out about the conviction when it received two anonymous calls from members of the public, leading to its own investigation.

The NMC panel made a suspension order for a period of 12 months.

It also made an interim suspension order of 18 months, which is replaced by the suspension order if no appeal is made within 28 days of Ms Lord being sent the panel decision in writing.


Further information

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