A midwife from Leicester has been struck off for looking up the confidential medical records of friends, ex-boyfriends, neighbours and colleagues over a period of 14 years. A panel of the Nursing and Midwifery Council found that her actions were “without clinical justification” and that she had abused her position of trust over the sustained period. The midwife in question had viewed some records several times a day.
The breaches of confidentiality were identified when a patient complained to University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust that the midwife had relayed information regarding her medical records to another person. Although this was initially denied, the breaches were admitted when she was advised it was possible to analyse the system to determine what records had been accessed. An immediate investigation was launched and the midwife referred to the NMC.
Despite the midwife expressing her shame and embarrassment and asserting that her actions were due to her “fear about health, illness and death” the panel of the NMC found the appropriate sanction was strike off. The NMC were concerned that such serious misconduct will have brought the reputation of the profession into disrepute.
As specialists dealing with NMC matters on a daily basis, our team have significant experience of assisting nurses and midwives accused of very serious misconduct and dishonesty. We have found that registrants may not always realise the seriousness of their actions, particularly if they have witnessed others carrying out similar misconduct or if the misconduct has become a routine part of their practise over a period of years. It is important that any healthcare professionals involved in investigations by their regulators seek immediate legal advice in order to best protect their position and retain their registration.
If you do require assistance in dealing with concerns in respect of professional misconduct our dedicated and experienced team are on hand to assist you. For more information, visit our professional misconduct and regulation page or call 01616 966 229.