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NMC strikes off nurse who falsely claimed £29k from surgery

NMC strikes off nurse who falsely claimed £29k from surgery

The NMC has struck off a practice business manager who falsely claimed over £29,452.35 including for undue overtime payments from her own surgery.

Rachel Low, a registered nurse who was working at West Rainton Surgery in Durham, incorrectly paid herself thousands of pounds worth of invoices between 2013 and 2015, an NMC panel heard last month.

The NMC also concluded she had made up allegations to launch a disciplinary investigation against a colleague in November 2014 to ‘bully’ them.

A court convicted Ms Low of two counts of dishonestly making false representation to make gain. She was sentenced to two years conditional discharge in January 2019.

The NMC panel heard how Ms Low had accused her colleague in 2014 of being ‘rude’ and ‘bullying’ another staff member.  When an investigation was launched into Ms Low’s allegations at the time, she made the unusual move of asking a colleague to send her notes from a grievance meeting about her conduct. Ms Low was suspended from the practice in March 2015.   

Following her suspension, the practice reviewed its finances and found she had paid various invoices to her own business, Rejuvenate (Durham) Ltd, including for overtime. The surgery partners said she was not entitled to overtime payments and were not aware of her having claimed the money. Other invoices were for services such as web training and coding.

Ms Lowe said she was ‘horrified’ and ‘sorry’ she had breached the NMC code in an email to her RCN representative in February 2019 but denied all charges during the NMC hearing last month.

The panel struck off Ms Lowe, finding she ‘breached the fundamental tenets of the nursing profession and therefore brought its reputation into disrepute’ and that her actions were ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with her ‘remaining on the register’.

It added: ‘It was satisfied that confidence in the nursing profession would be undermined if its regulator did not find charges relating to dishonesty extremely serious.’

Other nurses struck off recently include:  

The NMC also found that a newly qualified practice nurse under a fitness to practise investigation was ‘failed’ by a lack of diabetes training from her practice.

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