18 Oct 2016

Benefit fraud nurse eventually suspended

A BLAENAU Gwent nurse has been suspended by regulatory body The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after illegally claiming thousands of pounds in benefits.

Alison Dawn Scott, of Blaenau Gwent, worked as a nurse at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, near Llantrisant and previously pleaded guilty to benefit fraud at Caerphilly Magistrates Court in 2014.

And it reaches the NMC in 2016.

Between April 23, 2012 and September 15, 2013, Scott failed to inform the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) of her change in employment, claiming an extra £4,296.75 in carer’s allowance.

Although she is currently paying back the sum at a rate £30 a month - soon to be raised to £50 - Scott has continued to work as a nurse.

At a tribunal on Friday, the NMC agreed to temporarily suspend the nurse, due to the “dishonest” nature of the offence.

Case presenter, Douglas Lloyd stated the offence “couldn’t be committed by an act of oversight or act of negligence”.

“A dishonesty offence such as a fraudulent claim for money is of deep concern," he said. "Even if you are satisfied that there is no risk of repetition you must consider the public interest."

Scott previously worked as a carer between 1999- 2009 and qualified as a nurse in 2012 after spending three years at the University of Glamorgan.

The tribunal heard Scott accepted she was in receipt of benefit, knew she wasn’t entitled when she was in employment, knowingly continued to receive benefit and didn’t inform the DWP.

Daniel Neill, defending, noted that Scott had no previous convictions or NMC referrals and was “full and frank” about the offence, self-referring to the regulatory body and informing her employer.

He also noted Scott’s positive references, stating the public would be “deprived of someone who is a valued member of the community” if she was to be struck off.

“This is a case of failure to notify," he said. "It is a case of dishonesty yes but a case of dishonesty by omission rather than commission."

Acting NMC chairwoman, Monica French, stated that Scott had learned from her wrongdoing but the nature of the offence and her dishonest behaviour was “unacceptable”.

The NMC ruled that Scott was currently “impaired” in her practice and imposed a two month suspension order. This order will take action 28 days from the day of the meeting and Scott must serve this before returning to employment.


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