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Nurse involved in tragic car death allowed back on register

A nurse who was involved in a serious car accident which led to the death of several children has been reinstated onto the nursing register following a hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Angela Dublin was suspended from working as a nurse for a year in September 2007 based on the evidence of her criminal conviction in relation to the accident. The suspension was due to come to an end next month and an independent panel of the NMC's Conduct and Competence Committee reviewed the Order as required in the NMC (Fitness to Practice) Rules 2004.

The panel reviewed the evidence of Ms Dublin's conduct since the Suspension Order was given and deemed that in the balance of public interest and confidence and in fairness to the individual a Caution Order for the maximum five-year period was the appropriate sanction in addition to reinstating her to the register.

The panel considered that although Ms Dublin's actions caused direct and terrible harm to many people that day, she has demonstrated consistent and continuing remorse, insight and regret. She has only ever demonstrated concern for her victims and never for herself and her actions were an isolated incident which was not deliberate in the sense of it being an unexpected road traffic accident. She had a previous good history, with an excellent work record with high levels of care, attention and professionalism as a registered nurse over a 27 year career.

Commenting on the panel's decision, NMC spokesperson Leila Harris-Ryberg said: "Ms Dublin's actions, although very serious and with tragic results were not a reflection of her competence as a nurse. The criminal aspect of her case was dealt with through the courts, for which she received and served a prison sentence. As with all cases involving a conviction, the NMC considers whether or not the conviction affects the individual's abilities as a practitioner. In this case, the panel accepted the evidence before it which showed the rehabilitative steps she is continuing to take and acknowledged that at no point was her competency as a registered nurse ever doubted."


Was this the right decision? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"This nurse should never have had her professional status brought into question in this case. She was no doubt put under a lot of strees and anxiety, which was unwarranted." - Mick Heyes, East Midlands

"Yes, on all grounds a right decision was taken. This nurse does not deserve to be put through any more suffering; after all, anybody can have an accident � accidents do happen and the fact that she has been suspended for a year is also a tragic accident, which shows a certain amount of policy nastiness. But I am sure she is a good nurse and will be in the future." - Brandolini, North London

"I am disillusioned with the care nurses receive, not because I think we are special, but because those who provide care to patients are themselves being driven into the ground by often irrational and inconsistent leadership. This nurse has suffered enough already by the guilt she will have to carry, and I am sure her life experience will contribute to her being an even better nurse." - Lynne Hayward, Manchester

"Absolutely. I've been an HCA for almost 20 years and have just started my nurse training. I'm afraid it does not fill me with much confidence that even though I could have a glowing history in nursing, that my practitioning qualities have been questioned over something completely nonrelated!! It simply beggars belief and makes me question whether I'm doing the right thing if this is how we are treated. That girl has been humiliated!! Rapests and murderers seem to get away with more." - Yvonne Howie, Kilmarnock

"Of course it was, what other profession would be struck off for something not related to their occupation. Like previous comment I don't think I would be rushing back either!" - C Cronin, Cumbria

"This being a tragic case for all could have affected anyone of us either as the victim or the offender. I do not think her profession should have played a part in the penalty for an unforeseen road traffic accident. Well done to the committee for her reinstatement." - V Henry, N15

"Yes because we are obsessed with vilifying nurses at every turn. Would a doctor have been treated in this way. The sadness is that this nurse was ever removed from the register. No wonder nurses leave the profession when they are treated with less care and support that we give our patients. A caring profession? Some nurses do care - many, and their managers, care not a jot for their colleagues!" - Irene Climie, Ayrshire

"Right decision as tragic accident had nothing to do with her competency as a nurse, more a reflection on her driving. It concerned driving not nursing. I tried to put myself in her place, I don't think I would want to return to nursing under those circumstances. I would go and work in a Tesco and probably earn more money!" - Patricia Willis, Midlothian