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12-month suspension for nurse who defrauded NHS over shifts

NMC hearing reveals Emma Lavelle and colleague claimed £1,504 by signing off payments for bank shifts they had not worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow

NMC hearing reveals Emma Lavelle and colleague claimed £1,504 by signing off payments for bank shifts they had not worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow

A nurse has been suspended for fraudulently claiming £1,500 for bank shifts that she and her colleague had not worked.

Emma Lavelle, a band 5 nurse at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, logged 18 bank shifts together with a colleague that they had not undertaken between January 2018 and August 2018.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde changed sign off privileges to staff

Ms Lavelle, who later pleaded guilty to fraud at court in July 2020, has been

NMC hearing reveals Emma Lavelle and colleague claimed £1,504 by signing off payments for bank shifts they had not worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Picture: Alamy

A nurse has been suspended for fraudulently claiming £1,500 for bank shifts that she and her colleague had not worked.

Emma Lavelle, a band 5 nurse at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, logged 18 bank shifts together with a colleague that they had not undertaken between January 2018 and August 2018.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde changed sign off privileges to staff

Ms Lavelle, who later pleaded guilty to fraud at court in July 2020, has been suspended as a nurse for 12 months by the Nursing at Midwifery Council (NMC).

The NMC hearing on 7 July heard how the nurses, who were working at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, authorised phoney bank shifts for each other after the health board changed sign off privileges to staff because technical issues led to people not being paid.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde says that this was only to be done in exceptional circumstances, as ordinarily the senior charge nurse would book and authorise bank shifts.

But it allowed Ms Lavelle and her colleague – referred to as colleague A – to claim £1,504.

Following her criminal conviction, she was ordered to repay £752.44 to the health board.

Remorseful for her actions and immediately admitted guilt

David Claydon, presenting the case to the NMC said Ms Lavelle had ‘exploited a weakness in the NHS system’ and ‘engaged in a premeditated, systematic and long-standing deception over a period of approximately six months on the NHS to obtain a significant sum of money for personal financial gain’.

But Mr Claydon recognised that Ms Lavelle was remorseful for her actions and had immediately admitted her guilt.

Representing her during the hearing Christie Wishart told the NMC panel that Ms Lavelle completely accepted responsibly, but had been having personal problems at the time that made her act out of character, and ‘this was a desperate act done by a woman in a desperate situation’.

Striking nurse off register would be ‘too punitive’

The report said: ‘Ms Wishart submitted that you love your current job.

‘Ms Wishart said that you have never tried to hide what you have done, you have owned up to the fact that you falsified timesheets and even offered to repay the money that you took.’

The panel decided that due to Ms Lavelle’s insight, remorse and display of safe and effective practice since the incidents, striking her off the register would be too punitive.

Instead, she has been suspended by the NMC for 12 months with an interim-order of 18 months for appeal.

The case will be reviewed in 12 months.


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