Ms King, the former home manager at Bebington Care Home on the Wirral has been suspended for four months by a Conduct and Competence Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
The Committee heard evidence that Ms King made claims worth in excess of £400 using a resident’s personal allowance. Evidence was submitted that showed Ms King had filed bogus receipts for perfume, dresses, a camera, a home cinema system, slippers and wallpaper. She denied acting dishonestly, citing she should have been ‘more vigilant’ when submitting her receipts. She apologised for her conduct which the NMC said had deprived the elderly resident of the ability to purchase items meant for their wellbeing. She denied dishonesty however this was found proven by the Committee.
In considering Ms King’s conduct between December 2010 and April 2011 the Committee determined she had acted dishonestly, but that this dishonesty had occurred over what it called ‘a relatively short period in an otherwise unblemished 23 years of nursing’. The Committee found allegations of making incorrect claims in relation to two other residents not proven.
Ms King is currently considering whether to appeal the Committee’s decision to the High Court.
Ms King’s case goes to show that where dishonesty is alleged, the consequences for a registrant can be devastating. In cases of dishonesty, there is a substantial risk a registrant will be struck off the register. This is by no means inevitable and being both present and legally represented at their hearing is key to a registrant’s prospects of avoiding a strike off.
By Paul Burrows, Professional Discipline & Regulatory department
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