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Nurse suspended by NMC for lying at former boyfriends drink driving trial

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A registered nurse, who worked at Southend Hospital in the A & E department, recently received a 12 month Suspension Order following a fitness to practise hearing before the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee.

Ms Howell was also jailed for six months last year after it emerged that she had lied during her former partner’s trial for drink driving before the Magistrates Court. At the trial, Ms Howell stated that she had laced his drink with alcohol and her partner, a Metropolitan Police firearms officer, was given an absolute discharge. However, Ms Howell later admitted to perjuring herself and was convicted for perverting the course of justice together with her former partner.

In reaching its decision, the NMC’s Committee acknowledged that her conviction did not directly relate to her clinical competence but noted that she had acted dishonestly and therefore she "had breached one of the fundamental tenets of the profession".

The NMC’s Code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics states that a nurse or midwife must be open and honest, act with integrity and uphold the reputation of their profession. Honesty, integrity and trustworthiness are considered to be the bedrock of any registrant’s practice.

Dishonesty allegations are therefore considered very seriously by the NMC, whether or not they relate to matters outside a registrant’s professional practise, as they clearly cast doubt on the particular registrant’s integrity and compliance with the Code and risk bringing the reputation of the whole profession into disrepute.

By Laura Hannah

It is vital that any professional faced with such allegations before their professional regulators consult specialist legal advice to ensure that their case his carefully managed and prepared to limit the impact of those proceedings on their career. You can call our specialist regulatory solicitors now for advice and representation at your fitness to practise proceedings on 01616 966 229.