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Nurse who failed to declare international criminal conviction struck off by NMC



A registered nurse at a hospital in Oxfordshire has been struck from the registry by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) after a prior criminal conviction was uncovered that he had failed to disclose.

The individual became a registered nurse in 2003, declaring that he had no previous convictions. This declaration was made again in March 2017 when the nurse began working for NHS Professionals, signing a declaration form.

This declaration however, was revealed to be false by a whistle-blower in June 2018, as prior to becoming a nurse in the UK the individual was convicted of sexual assault of a third degree in the US state of Hawaii in 1998, for which they received a probationary five-year sentence. Charges of this nature in Hawaii at the time included rape and having sexual contact with another person who is ‘mentally defective, mentally incapacitated, or physically helpless’ and would have likely disqualified them from becoming a registered nurse. He remains a registered sex offender within the United States.

Following the tip-off the police alerted the NHS Foundation Trust of the conviction, who in turn notified NHS Professionals. The nurse was immediately suspended from working in any capacity and referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council. In his representation, the individual stated that he believed that the conviction was classed as spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 The Council committee however found that he had acted dishonestly by not declaring the conviction and intended to conceal the existence of the conviction in order to gain employment.

Though a number of mitigating factors were considered by the NMC panel, including remorse noted by the individual, no evidence of further criminal behaviour and sixteen years of practice as a nurse between 2003 and 2018 with no concerns, it was ultimately found that only a striking-off order would be appropriate when considering the dishonesty displayed and risk of reputational harm to the employer.

 
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